Yair Lapid – Yesh Atid Chairman on the UNSC decision against Israel
Statement from Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid in the wake of the United Nations Security Council decision against Israel:
“The decision taken by the United Nations Security Council is dangerous and indecent. Israel will not accept it. The United Nations doesn’t even try to hide its built-in hostility towards Israel. Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon openly admitted that was the case last week.
The decision is an act of hypocrisy. The UN Security Council which stood silently while 400,000 Syrians were slaughtered will not dictate to the sovereign state of Israel. When a murderous terror organization like Hamas blessed the decision of the Security Council it becomes clear who the council is truly serving.
I worked together with the government during the past few days to try to prevent this decision. I spoke to the White House, with the international media, and with our friends around the world. I will continue to work together with the government now in the diplomatic battle because I love our country and will always protect it.
I also strongly condemn those factions on the Israeli left who are celebrating in the media over the fact that Israel has been hurt. Patriots do not act this way.
But all this does not mean that something serious has not happened here. Something serious has happened.
During the past two years Prime Minister Netanyahu explained to us over and over again that the Obama administration is hostile towards Israel but that the rest of the world is becoming convinced about the policies of this government. The UN decision is a complete collapse of this theory.
The drama here is not limited to the Israel-US relationship. What became clear yesterday is that not one country in the world – not one – agreed to stand alongside the government of Israel. We had zero supporters in this vote. It became clear that we have disappeared from the main international arenas. Efficient work was not done with the international community.
We were surprised. We were unprepared. We cannot allow ourselves to be surprised in this arena. Just as the IDF cannot be surprised at the border, the government cannot be surprised in the international arena. There is something unfocused about the way things are managed.
The countries that Netanyahu told us we have in our pockets – Russia, the UK, Egypt – they are the ones who led this process against us.
I have been warning about this exact scenario for three years, including in the security cabinet. Over and over again I said that we have no plan of action, we have not organized staff work. We always push aside the national interest for political interests. There is something unfocused about the way things are managed.
That is how we arrived at this decision of the Security Council. This is not the UN plenary. This is a body with teeth. This is the body that leads the sanctions against Iran. The path that started yesterday has policy, economical and security ramifications. We won’t feel them right away because this is a process, but from the moment it begins it is difficult to stop it.
I advise the Israeli government not to decide that all foreign and security policy will be based on the statement that “Trump will come and all will be fine.” A complex state like Israel cannot decide that its foreign and security policy is based on one person. We know that he loves Israel but his policies are still in a development stage and no one knows what is going to happen.
What do we need to do now? What should our work plan be?
First of all, the prime minister must appoint a full time foreign minister. Don’t ask me if I am willing to accept this position. The answer is no. But there are enough good people in the government who can fill this position. Not everything has to be political.
There must be a full time foreign minister, there needs to be a functioning public diplomacy apparatus, and there must be funds dedicated to the international arena. We need to appoint a director for our national security council. Since December 2015 there is no director of the NSC who can centralize and streamline the work being done by our various government agencies. But more than anything else we must return the initiative to our hands.
We must initiate a regional conference and bring the Middle Eastern countries and the international community to us.
Israel was once the most beloved country in the world. We can return to that place. For this to happen we need new policies and new leadership. But the world has to know that it can make another 1,000 decisions like this one and it won’t change anything.
Today is the first candle of Hanukkah, the holiday in which we mark the eternity of Jewish control in the land of Israel and the fact that no one can take away our freedom. Seventy-one years after the Holocaust, they are not going to dictate anything to us. We – and we alone – will decide on our own path.”