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Testimonials

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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Thursday, 29 September 2016

Everyone knows that – in the post-Holocaust years – Germany has been a stalwart ally of Israel. Whether it‘s a result of deep-seated guilt and a need to compensate for its war against the Jewish people during World War II, or because both are Western-style democracies, Germany has unquestionably stood by Israel’s side over the past six-plus decades.

Yet, in a strange twist of circumstances, the German nation may be the key obstacle preventing the Jewish state from succeeding at its first real opportunity to become a member of the prestigious United Nations Security Council. 

Ever since the world body’s inception, Israel has been the only country in the world continuously disallowed from obtaining a Security Council seat, while – in sharp ironic contrast – brutal dictatorships such as Iran and Syria have been rotating members, and such classically freedom-denying countries as China and Russia control two of the council’s five permanent veto-wielding seats.

The enduring membership denial stems from the tricky setup at the UN, whose rules require that a country’s candidacy for the Security Council must be endorsed by its regional voting bloc.  But of course, since the democratic Israel is surrounded by hostile dictators, who by and large do not even recognize its right to exist, Israel is never able to join.

The situation was officially remedied in 2000, when - following extended American pressure – the Jewish state was granted membership in a “regional” bloc called the Western Europeans and Others Group. However, while Israel was finally in a position to get on the Security Council, it now had to struggle against the antipathy of several WEOG members, which view it with great disdain. On top of that, a majority of all of the UN’s 193 members have to approve every one of the regional groups’ selections, something quite difficult to achieve in the world body’s anti-Israel atmosphere.

Finally, in 2005, Israeli diplomats presented their candidacy for a Security Council seat for 2019-20 that they understood to be available. Together with Belgium, Israel lobbied for one of two seats set aside for the Western group. With no actual competition, the member nations of WEOG would be compelled to endorse both countries.

But then came the surprise – in April, Germany notified WOG that  it was throwing its hat into the ring for the end-of-decade seat, thus setting up a three-way battle for the two open spots.

According to German diplomats, this is a matter of course for their country. Given their position as a major world economy and significant donor to the United Nations, they successfully campaign for Security Council membership every eight years. But Israeli officials are seriously perturbed at their “friend’s” latest move, suspecting that Germany realized the Jewish state would be vulnerable to a “popularity contest” among its European peers. Not to mention that it would be another decade before this opportunity for WEOG members would arise again.

Israel has done so much for the world – as a bastion of democracy in a politically backwards region, as a leader in technology and health care, and more. Yet the “enlightened” members of the arts and academia – and of the UN itself – have cultivated an atmosphere that paints the Jewish state as regressive, oppressive…even a pariah among nations. The Jewish Voice calls upon Germany – especially given its horrific history regarding the Jewish people – to reconsider its plans, and withdraw its bid for the UN’s most prestigious body. Germany should firmly cement its contention that it is Israel’s good friend – and grant it its long-denied dream of joining the elite nations of the world.