The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) has announced that its member states have voted in favor of Israel’s admittance beginning January 1, 2014.
The new admittance of Israel is said to enhance the country’s interests at the Geneva-based body.
Senior diplomats from the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany and France sent a letter to the UN requesting to admit Israel into the group.
US hails Israel’s admittance to WEOG
US Permanent Representative Samantha Power has applauded the the decision to admit Israel into the Western European and Others Group.
“For far too long Israel has been unfairly excluded from regional bodies at the United Nations.” – Ms. Power
She noted that the decision provides Israel membership into one of the regional bodies that shape policy and determine leadership posts in UN fora.
The US has been asserting for a more normalize Israel’s treatment across the UN system.
US opposes efforts that undermines Israel
Ms. Power reiterated that as President Obama has made clear, the United States opposes effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy as a full and equal member of the community of nations.
She said the US will continue to work vigorously to end structural discrimination against Israel throughout the UN system.
UN v.s. Israel
The United Nations has been expressing strong opposition by Israel’s continued settlement in West Bank which has caused many Palestinians living in poverty.
New United Nations report revealed that Palestinian development is hampered by ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements.
The UN report highlighted that the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories remains “extremely worrying and precarious.”
On February 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the ongoing Israeli occupations are illegal and impede Palestinian economic viability at the West Bank.
Mr. Ban also higlighted the toll taken on the economy and lives of the Palestinians by the ongoing Israeli occupation.
He stressed economic progress cannot be reached and sustained absent a credible political solution on the horizon.
Israel captured East Jerusalem along with the West Bank and Gaza in the Six-Day War in 1967, but annexed the city as its united capital in a move not recognized by the international community. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of their future State.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since late September last year following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity. That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US on Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory
On February 2011, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal, saying that while it agreed that the settlements are illegitimate the resolution harmed chances for peace talks.
The other 14 members of the Council voted for the resolution, which demanded that “Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard.”
President Obama laid out his vision for a lasting peace in May 2011, which will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict covers from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict centers on often mutually exclusive claims to the area called Palestine by the Palestinians and the Land of Israel by Israeli Jews.