New York – On June 16th, ECI hosted a diplomatic luncheon at the ONE UN Hotel in New York in connection with the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. Israel became a full member of the UN back in 1949, but to this day there is no formal group at the UN defending the interests of the Jewish state; there is, on the other hand, a sea of organizations which are brought together in their hatred of Israel.
This was again well-illustrated in mid-June as both Saudi Arabia and Iran protested the appointment of an Israeli diplomat to one of the vice-chairs of the Fifth Committee of the UNGA, calling the appointment a ”provocation.” Iran and Saudi Arabia are fierce enemies but are nevertheless united in their animosity towards Israel.
In his speech at the luncheon, Gregory Lafitte asked why there is still no pro-Israel group at the UN? One diplomat answered by saying that such a group has already began to crystallize through the many UN permanent missions, which have taken part in FCD luncheons and activities over the last few years. ’What makes FCD unique is that it rallies support for something and not against something’, another diplomat noted. By presenting a positive agenda at the UN, friends of Israel have found a platform where they can unite in a positive spirit to express their support for Israel. Over the last few years, ECI has brought together some 50 UN missions for luncheons celebrating Jewish holidays and their universal messages for mankind.
Since its admission to the UN in 1949, Israel has been mostly isolated in the world organization. Most friends of Israel have either dismissed the UN or engaged in a negative campaign of criticism instead of trying to be constructive. Although the criticism has often been well-intended the approach has not changed the dynamics at the UN.
ECI believes that we need to be where decisions are made and that by engaging constructively with the decision-makers we can have a positive influence.
Organizations such as the UN or the EU are by no means perfect but they are still political realities, which we cannot neglect. The goal of ECI is to make the EU and the UN a better place for Israel by bringing together and empowering friends of Israel and by providing balanced and well- documented information for the leaders.