Israel scores victory at UN: Elected to committee on Palestinian refugees

Despite efforts by Arab countries to block election, Mordechai Amihai will serve in one of six main committees of the General Assembly.

June 20, 2014 04:28
1 minute read.
THE MEETING hall of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

United Nations Human Rights Council 370. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

NEW YORK - Mordechai Amihai, Israel’s former consul-general in Turkey, is to represent the Western European and Others Group in the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in September on the Fourth Special Political and Decolonization Committee, which deals in part with Palestinian refugees.

Amihai was elected on Wednesday afternoon with 74 votes from UN member states, despite a coordinated effort on the part of the Arab countries to block his election.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Sixty-eight countries abstained from the vote, and 15 votes were declared invalid.

The minimum number of votes needed was 39. Britain, the US and Canada showed strong backing for Israel.

Usually, however, these appointments are not voted on at all, but Syria called for the vote last week in an attempt to block Israel’s nomination.

Qatar released a statement saying that Israel should not serve on the committee because of “its track record was rife with murder and its occupation has lasted more than 66 years.”

Saudi Arabia compared it to apartheid-era South Africa presiding over a committee on racism. Lebanon, Libya and Egypt also strongly objected.

Ambassador Ron Prosor, Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, called the vote “a dangerous precedent” and said the UN “regained some self-respect” by electing Israel.

“The Arab group’s process violates all the basic rules and norms of the United Nations,” Prosor said. “I wonder which of these countries claim to be a moral beacon to the UN? The Arab group did not see anything wrong with Iran, a country which arms the army of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and Hezbollah, joining the Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

We find corrupt countries in managing the budget committee at the United Nations, and countries with rotten judicial systems leading discussions of legal issues committee.

“If the Arab group fears harming the reputation of the United Nations, I suggest they examine the candidate for membership in the various institutions,” he said.

The Fourth Committee is one of the six main committees of the General Assembly that determine the international agenda.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN