Israel Faces Emboldened Palestinian Delegation in the UN

Israel's new UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, will face an atmosphere of support for Palestinian causes in the UN and an uphill battle in generating sympathy for Israeli causes.

Palestinians are vigorously working to get the United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement building passed. They are working quickly to get support from the organization's general assembly before Israel's new UN ambassador Ron Prosor, takes up his position.

Israel will appoint their new UN ambassador after half a year spent with a temporary representative. Prosor, who has been serving as the ambassador in London will soon send his credentials to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. From there, he will receive the formal authority of a permanent UN ambassador, allowing him to fulfill his role in New York in an orderly way.

Prosor, a veteran diplomat valued in Israel for his work in the foreign service, can expect a difficult time at the UN's New York headquarters. The list of problems and topics that Prosor will be forced to deal with in the next few months is long and troublesome.

What may surprise him is the degree of sophistication and diplomatic expertise that the Palestinians have become emboldened with in recent months during their work to move their interests forward, especially in behind the screen negotiations.

The new ambassador will soon discover that the absence of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians has created an atmosphere of support for Palestinian issues, an atmosphere in the manner of which has not been felt in the UN for years.

The political stagnation, for which Israel is responsible, produced a wave of initiatives including the draft against Israeli settlements and the Russian initiative to dispatch a Security Council delegation to the Middle East to closely examine the reasons for the ongoing crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, ambassadors of central nations in the UN are well aware of the cold relations between the White House administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an awareness which has allowed the atmosphere of criticism towards Israel in the UN continue, even among nations thought to be friendly with Israel.

Israel's chance to prevent the Palestinians from gaining a majority at the UN on their proposal for an independent Palestinian state is slim. In addition, the new ambassador's ability to generate sympathy and attentiveness for Israeli claims on topics related to the Middle East in the UN arena is very limited.

High up on Prosor's list of priorities will be alerting the UN about the strengthening of Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as the ramification of UN resolution 1701, which calls on the Lebanese Army to deploy throughout the country, including in the Hezbollah stronghold of southern Lebanon, and prevent Hezbollah from acquiring more weapons. Another priority will of course be strengthening opposition to Iran's nuclear program.

Prosor is well known for his work in London against schemes to delegitimize Israel. In the center of the United Nations in New York, he will need all the experience that he acquired in this field.