NEW YORK – Accepting Israel’s candidacy to be a member of the UN Security Council in 2019-2020 would be a blow to the “heart of the council’s credibility,” Arab League Secretary- General Ahmed Aboul- Gheit said on Tuesday.
“Israel is in consistent violation of the UN Charter and international law, and accordingly, it lacks the minimum conditions required to become a member in the Security Council,” Aboul-Gheit said during a meeting of the council, adding that he views the body as “a great expression of the international order.”
“Israel cannot reap the fruits of peace before achieving peace,” the Egyptian diplomat said.
According to Aboul-Gheit, receiving a seat at the Security Council would “give a push to the extremist camp in Israel and the settlers in Israel.
“If normalizing international status is so easy and without return, what will drive Israel to engage in serious negotiations to end the conflict?” he asked.
“It is bewildering really that Israel finds in itself the courage to submit its candidacy for this membership. It does not miss an opportunity to strike the credibility of the United Nations.”
In his capacity as a briefer at Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, Aboul-Gheit slammed the Israeli government for its settlement policy, which he said will eventually make a viable Palestinian state of connected territories almost geographically impossible.
“These conditions leave no doubt that the plan and approach adopted by the current Israeli leadership is a plan for settlements, not a plan for peace,” he said.
Israel has been eyeing the Security Council spot for several years. The council is composed of five permanent members – the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
Candidates for a non-permanent seat are allocated according to regional blocs. Since 2000, Israel has been a member of the Western European and Others Group, and it is the only country in the Middle East that has never sat on the Security Council.
In his address to the forum, Aboul-Gheit spoke about the effect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Arab societies, saying it has “multiplied their problems,” “exhausted [their] ability to achieve development” and generated “volcanoes of anger” in Palestinian and Arab youth.
“Israel buried the hope generated by Oslo Accords in 1993, it has practically died,” he said. “This painful reality is taking place before the eyes and ears of the world year after year.”
According to him, the negotiation efforts failed because none of them properly addressed the occupation of territories seized in 1967.
“No solution will be achieved without directly addressing this heart of the matter,” Aboul-Gheit said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.