Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, spoke at a recent event of Maagalim, an Israeli Zionist organization that sends young representatives to high schools to help disadvantaged youths believe in themselves, including arranging for them to visit and choose post High School hesder, mechina and other army options.
During his talk, Prosor spoke about the challenges Israel currently faces, as well as about the difficulty of being an Israeli ambassador in the UN.
“Coming to the United Nations you really feel sometimes that you’re in the world of George Orwell’s ‘1984’,” Prosor said. “Right is wrong, truth are lies, left is right, and it looks all quite odd. I have to tell you that every day at the United Nations is a challenge and I would like to say that everyone talks about double standards, but I think one could talk about triple standards: One standard for democracies, one standard for dictatorships, and a special standard for Israel.”
Referring to the dangers of a nuclear Iran, Prosor recalled going to the White House and the State Department back in 1998 to talk about Iran’s nuclear program.
“When [Major General Amos Gilad and I] knocked on the doors of the White House in 1998 and talked about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, people looked at me and said, ‘Ron seems like a sensible guy but those Israelis see a forest where there are no trees,’” he said.
“[That was] 1998,” he added. “A couple of months ago, for the first time the International Atomic Energy Agency said a simple sentence that many who were on the front line had known for a long time: Iran has a nuclear weapons program.”
Prosor also spoke about the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral bid for statehood in the United Nations, and said that despite the upcoming change in the member countries in the UN Security Council, the PA will still not be able to achieve a majority for their bid, despite countries like Pakistan and Morocco joining the Security Council.
“You’ll be surprised to know that in that combination, the Palestinians at this stage will not have a majority,” he said. “So what they can do? They can move to the General Assembly. The General Assembly would not grant them the status of a member state. It would upgrade their position from a permanent observer to a permanent observer state. It makes a difference because when they become a permanent observer state they can join institutions like the ICC and others.”
In response to a question from an audience member, Prosor added that there might still be a reason to be optimistic because, as he said, he believes some PA Arabs have learned from what Hamas did to them in Gaza “throwing them off 15-storey buildings and shooting them in the back of the neck.”
“They don’t want to live under Hamas,” Prosor said. “The bottom line is I’m more optimistic, I’m aware of the enormous risk but I think that we should try and pursue everything.”
This was Ma'agalim's first event in New York. Ma'agalim, well known to educators of at-risk youth in Israel, is planning more activities in the USA and will bring key figures who will talk about the future of the social periphery in Israel.