DELEGATES ATTEND an informal meeting of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly last month..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Despite the high profile tension between Jerusalem and Washington during Operation Protective Edge, cooperation between Israel and the US at the UN is “very close,” officials in Jerusalem said Monday.
The officials said this “openness” and “consultation” between Israel and the US is evident throughout the UN system, and was very apparent during the Gaza operation.
The comments came on the eve of the UN General Assembly’s annual debate, scheduled to begin Wednesday and run through September 30.
Israel will be represented in New York by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is expected to address the world body next Monday; by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who will hold a number of meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the General Assembly; and by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, who will represent Israel at the annual donors conference for the Palestinian Authority, which also takes place alongside the UN meeting.
The Indian media on Monday reported that efforts were under way to set up a meeting in New York between Netanyahu and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose assumption of office in May as head of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was seen as a harbinger of closer Indo-Israeli ties.
While in the past the Palestinian issue has taken center stage at the UN’s September meetings, this year it is expected to take back seat to other issues that are preoccupying the world, such as the Ebola virus, Islamic State, and the crisis in Ukraine.
Israel, meanwhile, is working to organize a General Assembly debate in January on anti-Semitism, the first time the issue would be discussed in that forum. The move to schedule the debate comes amid rising instances of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Israel will also once again bring to a vote in this session of the General Assembly a resolution on “entrepreneurship for development,” which first passed in 2012. Getting Israeli resolutions passed in the UN General Assembly, where there is an automatic bloc that votes against Israel, is not an insignificant achievement.
It is part of the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to get Israel to take a more active role in the “classical” diplomatic work at the UN, and not only have to constantly be on the defensive in various UN forums.