Israel to Represent WEOG at UNEP and Habitat

by Maskil on 9 Jan 2008

According to this recent article on the SustainabiliTank website:

Last month Israel was voted by WEOG [UN Western European and Others Group] to represent the grouping in consultations for two UN agencies: HABITAT, the UN Human Settlement Program, and UNEP, the UN Environment Program. Both these agencies are based in Nairobi.

Calling the move a “significant breakthrough,” Leshno Yaar said, “This is an important step for Israeli diplomacy in the direction of normalizing Israel’s status in the UN, and recognizing Israel’s ability to contribute professionally to the regional UN bodies.

We need to celebrate these meaningful victories in the struggle to legitimise Israel (or the struggle to prevent its de-legitimisation; I’m never quite sure which it is). Given Israel’s many setbacks in the diplomatic arena, there is always the temptation to embrace a mindset of “a people that shall dwell alone” and write off all diplomacy as wasted effort.

This verse from the Bible should not be treated as some form of Gypsy Curse, still less as a desirable state of affairs. Its aptness to Israel’s situation for much of its history is something we need to examine in our darkest hours, rather than regard as a creed to live by or a foreign policy manual.

We should not abandon the struggle to become fully part of the world we live in, or at least as far as this is possible in the current circumstances.

Recognition along these lines should be what an Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is all about, instead of being the chief evangelist for Palestinian statehood, the reality of which is unlikely ever to be in Israel’s interests.



Numbers 23 / Hebrew – English Bible / Mechon-Mamre

9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Israel, the Conflict and Peace: Answers to frequently asked questions

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