AJC eBook - Dashed Hopes: Anti-Israel Bias at the UN - Page 12

GEOGRAPHICALLY INCORRECT
MEMBERSHIP ON THE UN ’ S VARIOUS committees and agencies is allotted by five regional groups of states — Africa , Asia-Pacific , Eastern Europe , Latin America-Caribbean , and West Europe and Others ( WEOG ). Each grouping nominates countries from that region to serve on the various UN bodies , and their choices are then approved by a vote of all UN members . While Israel belongs geographically in the Asia-Pacific category , that group — with its heavy Arab and Muslim representation — does not accept it . Therefore , Israel for many years was the only country unaffiliated with a regional grouping and hence ineligible for membership in a UN body .
There has been some improvement in this situation in recent years . In 2000 , WEOG , which represents Western-style democracies irrespective of geography , accepted Israel as a temporary member at UN headquarters in New York , a status that was made automatically renewable in 2004 . The WEOG label has enabled Israeli ambassadors to serve twice as vice president of the General Assembly . In 2013 , Israel was admitted to WEOG at the UN ’ s Geneva headquarters , but it remains unidentified with a regional group at the UN ’ s other sites in Nairobi , Rome , and Vienna . Israel had submitted its candidacy through WEOG for membership on the Security Council for the 2019-20 term , but ultimately withdrew its bid , when it concluded that in the hostile UN environment it would be unrealistic for the Jewish state to achieve the required two-thirds majority .
“ MADELEINE ALBRIGHT AND I PASSED THE AJC AD AROUND THE ROOM OF EUROPEAN UNION MINISTERS — THAT ’ S HOW IT ALL STARTED . ”
RICHARD HOLBROOKE , U . S . PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN ( 1999-2001 )
A COMPELLING ADVERTISEMENT SERIES THAT AJC PLACED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES HIGHLIGHTED A MULTIYEAR CAMPAIGN TO ADVANCE ISRAEL ’ S EQUAL TREATMENT AT THE UN . IN 2013 , ISRAEL ANNOUNCED ITS BID FOR A SEAT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2019-20 ( WHICH WAS ULTIMATELY WITHDRAWN ). THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE WERE IT NOT FOR ISRAEL ’ S INCLUSION IN THE WESTERN EUROPEAN AND OTHERS GROUP ( WEOG ). ISRAEL WAS INVITED TO JOIN WEOG IN 2000 , IN PART BECAUSE AJC , IN THE WORDS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES , “ LED THE CAMPAIGN ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL THROUGH QUIET DIPLOMACY AT THE UNITED NATIONS AND
EUROPEAN CAPITALS ,” WHICH INCLUDED A 12 • DASHED HOPES : ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS AT THE UN
POWERFUL AD SERIES IN THE PAPER .