As the world begins to lend international support to a French-led military intervention against Islamic terrorists in Mali, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday brought the issue home, comparing the situation in northern Africa to Israel’s fight against terrorism in Gaza.
“France’s foreign minister said this month that his country was fighting to prevent the creation of an Islamist terrorist enclave ‘at the doorstep of France and Europe.’ If Mali is on France’s doorstep, Gaza is in Israel’s living room,” Ron Prosor said.
Speaking at the UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN added, “Make no mistakes: France’s principled stand should be commended. We only ask that France and all the countries who are supporting its principled stand today, support Israel tomorrow when we fight Islamic terrorism on our borders.”
France launched a military operation in Mali on January 11th to oust Islamist terrorists who were threatening to capture the capital and take over the country. The international community quickly lent support to France, who has vowed that the operation will last "as long as necessary."
Prosor also condemned the Security Council for quickly attacking Israel for building in Judea and Samaria while doing little to stop the real pressing threats to the stability of the region.
"In Syria, more than 60 thousand people have been killed, Assad bombed Palestinian refugee camps and hundreds of thousands are seeking refuge, citizens in Lebanon are living under the brutal oppression of Hizbullah, which has transformed the southern part of the country into an Iranian terror base, Assad's chemical weapons might fall into the hands of Hizbullah or al-Qaeda. Iran is striving to obtain nuclear weapons," said Prosor.
"Yet despite the many threats, the Security Council chooses to focus every month specifically on Israel. The presence of Jewish homes in Jerusalem has never been a threat to regional security. Why do you think the situation in the Middle East is still unstable, undemocratic and violent? I'll give you a hint: It has nothing to do with Israel," he stated.
"Israel is not that which is broken in the Middle East, Israel is everything that is good and true in the Middle East. The Council's silence in the face of terrorism, corruption, lies and half-truths does not contribute to those seeking a brighter future," Prosor added.
In his address, Prosor also expressed the Israeli government’s view that the upgraded status attained by the Palestinian Authority in a November vote at the UN has no tangible meaning.
“The only Palestinian state in these halls is the Palestinian state of denial,” Prosor said. “Last month’s resolution did not confer Palestinian statehood. It did not constitute recognition of a Palestinian state.”
The US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice agreed with Prosor, telling those assembled that the US “does not consider UNGA resolution 67/19 as bestowing Palestinian ‘statehood’ or recognition.”
”Only direct negotiations to settle final status issues will lead to this outcome. Therefore, in our view, any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation to this meeting or other arrangements for participation in this meeting, do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state,” she added.