Ambassador Ron Prosor: Israel's Fortress Inside the United Nations
By Gad Nahshon
Current Israelís Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor (left), with former Israelís Ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman.
"I walk inside the United Nations, proudly, because I am aware of the country which I represent and I am aware of what I do represent," Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, remarked to me in his Manhattan office. This famous diplomat, the 16th permanent representative of Israel in the UN, has over two decades of experience and achievements in Israel's foreign affairs.
Ron Prosor has been the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-2007); held various important roles in Washington, DC and Bonn, Germany; was a key member of the Israeli delegation to the 1998 Wye River Summit Talks; and recently, Israel's Ambassador in the United Kingdom.
Ron Prosor is an intellectual diplomat and a sophisticated person. His timing, however, is very bad. He must challenge a decade of increasing attacks on Israel's survival. In an era of hate, he must fight with fewer and fewer allies in the small pro-Israeli camp. He must challenge many forces trying to isolate Israel.
Concerning the questions of 'survival' some enemies, and 'experts' view Israel's fear of a second Holocaust as an obsession-complex. Today, the State of Israel is, perhaps, the only country against which an international camp is preaching for her annihilation and the elimination of the Zionist entity. Even UN members such as Iran, are members of this camp which is, also, united with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbullah. Many people do not understand that the geographical space between life and death for Israel is quite small. From a military and geopolitical strategy, Israel does not have a frontier, so any mistake in judgment can reduce its ability to survive as a nation.
Many people do not understand that the geographical space between life and death for Israel is quite small. From a military and geopolitical strategy, Israel does not have a frontier, so any mistake in judgment can reduce its ability to survive as a nation.
Even UN members such as Iran, are members of this camp which is, also, united with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbullah. Many people do not understand that the geographical space between life and death for Israel is quite small. From a military and geopolitical strategy, Israel does not have a frontier, so any mistake in judgment can reduce its ability to survive as a nation.
This reality, these challenges, and this defense of its national survival under the agenda of 'never again,' as Benjamin Netanyahu defined a second Holocaust, are resting on the shoulders of Ron Prosor inside the United Nations. He must serve as Israel's fortress, as its 'Iron Wall'. Together, with his delegation, Prosor is fighting for Israel's goals and interests with all the diligence, wisdom and skills at hand, knowing Israel will be under constant attack and held to standards that no other nation on earth has to deal with.
Ron Prosor defined his unique approach to urgent issues, goals, and targets as follows: First - the international front. It is a war for a political, pro-Israeli front. As such, it is critical to achieve the support of as many small countries among the 193 members of the UN as possible. For example, Rwanda is a candidate for serving in the Security Council. Recently, Rwanda's president said that Israel and the USA are best friends of his country.
Prosor said that the second policy of Israel is the following: "We want to promote Israel's image as a country which supports and helps other countries. We help them in the fields of economy, agriculture, science, technology, social issues and women's issues. We stress our contributions to the international community and to the world." This goal is important because Israel should not be defined only in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not issues of war and peace and the pressures from Palestinian's allies and friends, but by Israel's contributions to, and relationships with, the rest of the world.
Prosor, the son of a German-Jewish family, understands completely how Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, tried to annihilate the Jews, but that did not stop those that survived from going on to excel and benefit the world at large. I asked Ambassador Prosor to express his reaction to the conference attended by 120 UN members in Tehran, Iran. He said, "The roots of this conference of non-aligned movement is in the Cold War era. There are similarities to a conference from the 1950's established by Tito (Yugoslavia), Nehru (India), and Sukarno (Indonesia). Today, it is a union of the 22 Arab League states, 56 Muslim states, and 112 non-aligned states. According to the procedure, Iran is the host and leader. Now, no one will discuss Iran's project to attain nuclear weapons. Also, the participation of 120 out of 193 members of the UN is a big PR victory for Iran."
As to the participation of the UN's Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, in this conference, Prosor said: "I would like to stress the fact that his act is not just an Israeli issue, it is the issue of other states. It is an issue of anti-Iranian states. It is an issue of the USA, a world leader which has the right of a veto in the Security Council. The Secretary General cannot ignore years of Iran's negative behavior regarding UN demands and policies. Iran broke UN laws. Ban's visit indirectly encourages Iran to go on and accomplish its process of building nuclear weapons. He, therefore, provided Iran a UN sponsorship!"
Prosor had his own take on whether the Secretary General of the UN's participation was an anti-American act. He said that America is trying to solve the terrible war and crisis in Syria and wants to get rid of Assad. The USA is looking for peace and since Iran supports Assad, that is an anti-American policy. The Secretary General ignored these facts when he decided to attend the conference in Iran.
Prosor also spoke about one more aspect of the Iranian activities. He indicated that there are states which are afraid of Iran whose future activities can be dangerous to the area. These countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are also victims of this visit by Mr. Ban. They are also anti-Assad countries looking for peace. The situation has also been complicated by the state of tension between Turkey and Iran.
Prosor also discussed the challenges facing Israel at the meeting of the General Assembly of the UN 'Abu-Mazen', or Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian authority, wishes to accomplish his goal to become a full member of the UN and to promote Palestinian independence. Today, its status is only of 'observer.' The next achievement is to get the status of 'observer state'. In the UN, only a majority of the Security Council's members can give a candidate state a status of full membership in the UN, but a majority of the General Assembly can give a candidate a status of observer state," explained Ron Prosor. It looks like Abbas has, in his pocket, a majority of at least 120 votes in the Assembly. Whether this is the perfect timing for Abbas to use this majority, Ron Prosor indicated that he would not do it now. He would wait and see who will be the next American president.
Ron Prosor is aware that the American veto, in the UN Security Council, helps support Israel. He must be very vigilant regarding the many areas of influence the UN has through its organizations, agencies, and institutions such as UNESCO, or the international criminal court. The UN is a mirror of Israel's place in the world. Israel can never take for granted the future support of the USA and the pro-Israeli camp.
Ron Prosor's charge and challenge is to go on and serve as Israel's fortress inside the UN!