Last week, Israelis rejoiced as their nation secured a seat on the executive board of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), hailing it as a recognition of the state’s feat of becoming a “Developed” nation and more profoundly, allowing Israel to attain a greater level of participation in the international community. However, in light of this recent vote, it is necessary to remember that in September, there was another vote with which Israelis were far from rejoicing. The bid for recognition of Palestinian Statehood at the UN Security Council left the U.S. threatening to withdraw funding from the UN, potentially damaging a wide array of UN programs.
The Israel lobby, arguably responsible for the United States’ tough stance on the issue of unilateral Palestinian Statehood, should pay attention to the efforts made by Israel to integrate itself into the international community, and not isolate itself diplomatically. Furthermore, the United States plays a large role in furthering Israel’s assimilation into the international community and therefore, despite sending a clear message on the issue of Palestinian statehood, encouraging the US to cut short UN funding also hurts Israel, and in the long run may impair Israel as it seeks to raise itself to the top of the international community’s diplomatic hierarchy.
The Atlantic, United States