NEW YORK – Outgoing Ambassador to the UN Gabriella Shalev told American
journalists on Monday that Israel is “the most isolated, lonely country in the
world,” and that the biggest threat to its existence is not Iranian nuclear
proliferation, but international attempts to delegitimize it.
an Israel Project luncheon in Washington that threats to Israel’s right to
defend itself constitute the “first challenge” of the Jewish state, according to
The Washington Times.
Shalev cited Iran and tensions with the
Palestinians as other significant problems, but particularly highlighted
international community’s actions toward Israel as being potentially
to the country’s future.
She specifically cited European court
prosecutions of Israeli officials for alleged human rights offenses and
efforts to single out Israeli conduct for reprimand.
Shalev said that as
sanctions resolutions at the UN put international pressure on Iran,
biggest threat is now those who question the Jewish state’s right to
defend itself, the Washington Times
Israel Project president
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi told The
she felt Shalev’s remarks had
been on point.
“Iran has been the No. 1 issue in the pro-Israel community
for many years, but right now there is something of a sigh of relief
world has come to a deeper understanding that Iran is not just Israel’s
it is the world’s threat,” Mizrahi said, citing sanction developments in
UN and Europe.
“What [Shalev] was saying was that everyone at the UN in
theory supports Israel’s right to defend itself, but when it’s
stop supporting it in many cases,” Mizrahi said, citing the May 31 Gaza
incident as an example.
“I think [Shalev] is right.
I think that
this is a major problem, and we’re deeply, deeply concerned about it.”
terms of the United Nations, UN Watch director Hillel Neuer told the
Geneva that “Ambassador Shalev is exactly right. While the UN was
founded on the
highest ideals, many of its influential assemblies have turned into
for ‘lawfare’ – the Arab-led assault on Israel using international law
its legitimacy and international standing.”
Efforts to utilize
international law as a blunt instrument against Israel, Neuer said, are
particularly evident in the context of the Human Rights Council, a UN
“Out of some 40 resolutions adopted since 2006, more than 70
percent target Israel, while granting impunity to Hamas terror,” Neuer
the Human Rights Council. “Victims of abuses worldwide are ignored. The
currently has multiple inquiries under way against democratic Israel,
on massacres committed by gross violators like China, Iran, Sudan, or
Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin, the proud Zionists who
created the UN’s human rights system in response to the atrocities of
II, are surely turning in their graves.”
Responding to these remarks, a
spokesperson for the UN Secretary General’s office said on Tuesday that
is a member in good standing of the United Nations, which has repeatedly
stressed the rights of the Israeli people, as has Secretary-General Ban
Israel’s rights as a member state have been established repeatedly,
through General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.”
departing reception held for Shalev last week in New York by the
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Susan Rice, the US
to the UN, praised her efforts at the world body. Rice told attendees
would “continue US efforts to combat all international attempts to
legitimacy of Israel – including and especially at the United
Mizrahi pointed out that at Monday’s luncheon, Shalev’s remarks
were not made in a despairing tone.
“She was very hopeful,” Mizrahi said.
“She wasn’t demoralized. She’s fighting it.”