Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Saturday night that he would stop in
Prague on the way to an annual government-to-government meeting in Germany on
Thursday to personally thank the Czech Republic for voting with Israel at the UN
Netanyahu spoke over the weekend with Czech Prime Minister
Petr Necas and thanked him for his country’s “courageous UN vote against the
Palestinian Authority’s request.”
“The history of Israel and the Czech
Republic has taught us that one must cling to the truth even if the majority is
not with you,” Netanyahu said. “Your vote must serve as an example for all those
who support peace, which can be achieved only via direct negotiations without
While Prague will be the only state Netanyahu will visit
to thank for its position, there was obvious gratitude in Jerusalem to the seven
other countries who joined Israel and the Czech republic to vote against the PA
resolution: Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama and
the United States.
Although officials in Jerusalem expressed
disappointment that Germany – which often votes for Israel in international
forums – abstained, there was satisfaction that certain other countries did
abstain, first and foremost Albania, which is a Muslim country with whom Israel
has developed close ties over the last couple of years.
While Israel was
disappointed at how the EU voted, especially Italy which voted for the
Palestinians, 12 EU countries did abstain. With the exception of Germany, the
Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all the other abstentions came from the
former Iron Curtain countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Another nine non-EU European
states also abstained: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,
Monaco, Montenegro, Moldova, San Marino and the former Yugoslav Republic of
In Africa, Israel took some comfort from that fact that five
countries abstained: Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Rwanda and
Togo, whose president was in Israel last week.