“While the council’s talking points have not changed for decades, the Middle East has,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan said.
Israel’s UN envoy accused the Security Council on Monday of not recognizing far-reaching changes taking place in the Middle East, including the normalization deals Israel has reached with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan recently.
“While the council’s talking points have not changed for decades, the Middle East has,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan said during his first appearance at a monthly Security Council meeting on the region.
“In the two months since I arrived in New York, I have witnessed a jarring dissonance between what this council chooses to focus on and what is actually happening in the Middle East,” Erdan noted.
He continued, “Instead of viewing the [Abraham Accords] as a new opportunity to kickstart negotiations, the Palestinians have attacked the Emirates, Bahrainis and Sudanese, calling their decision to have relations with Israel a ‘betrayal’ and a ‘stab in the back.’ Now everyone can see that the Palestinians incite against any country that seeks peace in the region, even its fellow Arab League members. The fact that the Palestinians attack those who make peace with Israel, demonstrates that, for years, the council has been applying pressure to the wrong side.”
Erdan concluded, “I am committed to proving wrong all those who say that the Security Council is a lost cause. However, ignoring the most pressing issues in the Middle East and expressing bias when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes it hard to do so. The council must recommit itself to pursuing peace and security, and not let politics dictate its actions in the Middle East.”
‘History Will Judge How This Council Responds’
At the same meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft expressed similar sentiments, saying, “The simple truth is that the council repeats decades-old approaches to this conflict each month that go nowhere. Many UN member states are trapped in stale policies and narratives that will always fail to bring peace.”
“The United States has demonstrated for the first time in 25 years that a different approach to the situation in the Middle East can yield results,” she added. “Today, because of American leadership, Israel is closer to its Arab neighbors than ever before; and its Palestinian, direct neighbors should take advantage of this positive momentum. History will judge how this council responds to this historic moment — it can either shrink from the challenge or rise to the occasion.”
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