Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Prosor: Israel’s Relations at the U.N. Improving ‘Under the Radar’

January 23, 2014 6:53 pm 3 comments
Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor. Photo: Screenshot.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor. Photo: Screenshot.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, said relations at the international body are improving “under the radar,” despite the shibboleth of structural bias inherent in the international institution.

“At the UN, there’s 22 countries in the Arab League, 57 Islamic countries and 120 non-alignment countries… and only one Jewish state,” Ambassador Prosor told an audience at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, in New York City, on Wednesday.

Because of the difficulty in receiving a majority of 193 possible votes, Israel has only sponsored three resolutions at the UN.

“The first resolution we sponsored, the very first thing we did at the UN, was to establish January 27 as Holocaust Memorial Day,” he said.

Afterwards, the strategy was to find areas where Israeli expertise played to the interests of even hostile powers. The second resolution, to support new Agriculture Technologies for Development, was his example.

“This was in everyone’s interest, and we saw the Arab countries, which would benefit more than anyone, all vote against it, work against it, and this will continue until they’re more interested in the prospects for their own people than condemning Israel.”

The measure, as a Second Committee resolution, is voted on biennially, being adopted in 2007, with 118 countries voting in favor; in 2009, with 131 votes; in 2011, with 133 votes; and in 2013, with 138 countries voting in favor.

The third resolution was about Entrepreneurship for Development, and Israel’s delegation secured 141 out of 193 possible votes.

“The Ambassador from Tanzania, stood up, and said, ‘I, too, condemn the situation of Palestinians, but I like Israel very much!'”

“I was so happy, I nearly hugged him!” Prosor said.

He said many other ambassadors would tell him “this is nothing personal,” and then turn around to condemn Israel or vote the opposite way.

The Israeli delegation’s policy, especially for relations with ambassadors from the Arab world, was, initially, to ignore their slurs. But with the human rights crises in the Middle East and the spread of access to international news, the Israeli delegation felt emboldened to change tactics.

“Now, when everyone goes against us, we will respond,” he said.

When Israel was asked about UN programs that support the rights of women in society, Prosor spoke about Golda Meir, Israel’s female prime minister, about Tzipi Livni, the female Justice Minister for the present Israeli government, and said he was happy to point to his colleagues from the Arab world, and ask where they stood “on women, on gays?”

“Now they see there’s a response from us, and they don’t want to be singled out, so they say nothing,” he said.

While tactics have changed, Prosor said the biggest impact on the Israeli delegation in the future will be from the changing dynamic in the Middle East, with Iran’s emergence leading delegations from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to think higher of their Israeli colleagues for standing up against the Iranian nuclear threat.

In the corridors of power at the UN, while other diplomats, always off the record, may be glad to see Israel standing taller at the institution “under the radar,” one accredited representative of an NGO at the UN said, for publication, that it was great news.

“It is intriguing, interesting and important that Israeli’s ambassador to the UN would make such an optimistic statement,” said Dr. Judy Kuriansky, representative to the United Nations for the International Association of Applied Psychology and the World Council for Psychotherapy. “In the context of the events that often happen here, it’s a credit to what the institution of the United Nations is meant to stand for.”


  • In the eye of the storm! What courage Ron Prosor has! Is there any other nation with such resolute goodwill on the face of the earth? I think not.

  • Should Iran get to testing an A bomb of its very own, it doesn’t take a prophet to see strange new alignments in the Middle East. Hopefully, the USA will have gone through a change in administrations that results in a far deeper understanding of the long term threat of radical Islam.

    Israel at the UN has long been a small voice deliberately unheard by those who still think its destruction should occur.
    Will this change? Hopefully those who can approach reality with pragmatism will begin opening dialogues with Israel.

    They can only benefit!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Food Spirituality/Tradition ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah

    ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah – Babka. Strudel. Stollen. Danish pastry. Not to mention Gugelhopf and Charlotte. The names set the mouth to watering and conjure up lovingly concocted pastries that feed the body and comfort the soul. If you didn’t have a grandmother who baked these delicacies, you wish that you had. George Greenstein was never a grandmother, but his life as a baker provided his children and grandchildren with memories infused with the smell of fresh baked bread and rugelach. His daughters, Julia […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Fusing Israeli and Holocaust History, Novel Offers a ‘Middle Eastern Western’

    Fusing Israeli and Holocaust History, Novel Offers a ‘Middle Eastern Western’ – There is a game that all of us have played at some time in our lives. We ask ourselves: What would my life be like if I had gone to this school instead of that one, or if I had married this girl instead of that one? In their newly published book The Ambassador, authors Yehuda Avner and Matt Rees play that game with modern Jewish history. Avner — who died earlier this year, and was a speechwriter, secretary and adviser to […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Lifestyle A Toulouse Fashion Student Finds Style and Harmony in the Holy Land

    A Toulouse Fashion Student Finds Style and Harmony in the Holy Land

    A unique group of young fashion bloggers and designers recently visited Israel to learn more about the country’s fashion industry and diverse culture. Hailing from the Philippines, Korea, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.K., the 10 participants toured the country and met with top Israeli fashion designers throughout last week. “It was an amazing experience,” said Meissene Maghni from Toulouse, France — one of the participants of the program. “I’m Muslim and I really wanted to see Israel […]

    Read more →