Israel's Former UN Ambassador Explains Why She Could No Longer Represent Israel
"…If we no longer had the support of the Americans, that would be terrible. I know they’re sick of it [i.e., supporting Israel]. We’ve become a burden instead of an asset. When, in your opinion, did we cross the line? Recently. With the refusal, the empty declarations about our desire to enter negotiations. I also know that someone in the Obama administration said that our prime minister is conducting a campaign on behalf of Romney."
Ha'aretz has a disturbing interview with Gabriella Shalev, Israel's former UN Ambassador. She is especially critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – deservedly so in my opinion. Here's an excerpt:
You once made a statement that stuck in my mind: “The United Nations is the place where all the hatred is concentrated.”
True, that’s exactly how it is. And at the United Nations, our great, important and true friend is the United States.
In effect it’s the only one that defends us, right? It uses its veto.
There’s also Canada, but Canada isn’t a member of the Security Council. On the other side are England and France, which are members of the council, and Germany, which is not a member, which are sick and tired of this government’s policy. These are very hard times and the fact that the [Israeli] prime minister is directing all his energy and rhetoric against the United States is simply a terrible thing, in my opinion. It’s going to boomerang, and I say that from experience.
So what are we actually doing, burning bridges?
As a result of a deliberate decision?
The prime minister says to [U.S. Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton, “You have no moral right to present us with red lines.” What’s “You have no moral right?” What does that mean? I know from what I’ve seen in the United Nations that without the United States we would be denounced. Isolated. They would throw us out of there. Like South Africa [during apartheid].…
The question is whether we are systematically being presented with a false display of strength. How does Benjamin Netanyahu even dare to oppose the United States? How do you understand it?
Look, I don’t for a moment make light of the Iranian threat. I’ve heard their speeches, and during my tenure at the UN I was also exposed to intelligence information. There’s no question that it’s a very serious threat; the Americans know what we know, and they know terrible things. It’s a terrible country, whose leadership has declared that the State of Israel will be destroyed. There has never been such a thing. And Netanyahu believes that we have to deal with this threat.
At this stage yes. And what will happen then? Nobody talks about it, and I’m even somewhat afraid to say it, but aren’t they thinking about the pilots who will be flying such a long distance? I’m not even thinking yet about the counterstrike. I assume that Netanyahu thinks that we can manage without the United States. I think that’s terrible.
Do you trust the Americans?
Definitely. We don’t have a better, more important and more loyal friend. They believe that the State of Israel is the most important democracy in the Middle East. I know that because of my personal and professional connections with the American delegation and the person who heads it. I also know how much intelligence information, plans, strategy, support and budgets are invested in this channel. Not to mention their invaluable assistance in the international arena.…
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, personally pushed for the State of Israel to be included in all kinds of regional committees and groups, and has always cooperated with us. I’m sure it’s on the instructions of the White House. And that’s why I say that if we no longer had the support of the Americans, that would be terrible. I know they’re sick of it [i.e., supporting Israel]. We’ve become a burden instead of an asset.
When, in your opinion, did we cross the line?
Recently. With the refusal, the empty declarations about our desire to enter negotiations. I also know that someone in the Obama administration said that our prime minister is conducting a campaign on behalf of [Republican Party candidate Mitt] Romney.…