For the first time in its history, Israel may qualify for a seat on the UN’s security council, a body that has passed more motions against it than against any other country. Its chances are being jeopardized, however, by Germany, one of its close allies in recent years.
Until recently, voting rules in the UN precluded Israel from gaining a seat on the council. 2019 will be the first time since those rules were changed that there will be a vacant seat that Israel can claim. The security council is made up of 15 seats: 5 permanent members (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France) and 10 rotating seats, which are reserved by regional blocs. The two seats reserved for the Western bloc will be vacant in 2019, and at first it appeared they would go to Belgium and Israel, but Germany has now announced its candidacy, too.
Germany’s motivation is procedural; it never allows more than nine years to pass between terms on the security council. Its goal is to maintain its diplomatic advantages. Israel, however, has been repeatedly vilified in the UN’s hallowed halls, and the Palestinians and their allies continue to undermine Israel’s legitimacy by claiming its very existence oppresses the Palestinian people. As Israel’s ally, Germany should stand by Israel and allow it to serve on the security council, instead of competing for the last spot.