Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Palestinian efforts to have their flag raised at the UN alongside those of member states is yet another “cynical misuse” of the UN to score hollow political points, Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor said on Tuesday.
Prosor formally raised Israel’s objection to the proposal in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and current president of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa of Uganda.
The Palestinians presented a draft resolution to the UN last week calling for the Palestinian flag to be raised at the world body. A vote on the resolution, co-sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and another 18 countries, is expected to take place on September 15.
“For 70 years, the United Nations has raised only the flags of full member states,” Prosor wrote. “Even though the Palestinians are attempting to change longstanding protocols and traditions, they have not deemed it appropriate to allow the member states of this organization to debate, discuss or reflect on the consequences and implications of this proposal.”
The “State of Palestine” as well as the Vatican have the status of “non-member observer states” at the UN General Assembly.
Prosor said he did not understand why there was such an “urgency” in changing a 70-year-old practice at the UN whereby only flags of full member states are flown. “Not even one round of informal consultations was held before the resolution was formally submitted to the secretariat,” he said.
“With enough votes in their pockets, the Palestinians’ lack of respect for due process is brazen and directly damages the integrity of this institution,” he wrote, adding that “many other members of the UN” have expressed similar concerns regarding what he called a “blatant attempt to hijack the UN.”
Prosor pointed out that the Palestinians presented their draft resolution as a joint initiative with the Vatican.
“I was thus astonished to learn from the media that not only is the Vatican not part of this initiative, in fact they are not even co-sponsoring it, and do not have any aspirations to raise their flag,” he wrote.
“The Holy See has made it clear that it stands by the long held practice of raising only the flags of member states at UN Headquarters.
“Once again the Palestinians prefer to score easy and meaningless points at the UN, simply because they can,” he wrote. “Rather than choosing to negotiate in good faith while making the required compromises, they prefer hollow, one-sided resolutions. It’s time to unequivocally tell them: This is not the path to statehood, this is not the way for peace.”