That’s what the New York Times says:
Israel recently proposed a United Nations resolution, it submitted its candidacy for a two-year seat on the Security Council, and its prime minister has been warmly received speaking to the General Assembly.
For any of the 190 other nations in the world organization, those would be routine events.
But in Israel’s case, the resolution is the first the country has ever proposed, and the request for a Security Council seat presumes an end to the disdain with which the country has historically been treated at the United Nations.
The address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, on Sept. 15, was his first at the United Nations. It was delivered to a hall that has rung with denunciations of his country, where a tide of condemnatory resolutions has passed by lopsided votes and which Arab delegates regularly vacated whenever an Israeli rose to speak.
Any improvement at the U.N. is, of course, good news. But that organization has a long, long way to go, and its progress (or lack thereof) is followed more skeptically by the editors of Eye on the UN, a terrific site. Go there for the latest UN news and commentary. Scott and I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Bayefsky, one of the site’s editors, last week. Anne has a long history as a UN insider, beginning when she was a member of the Canadian delegation to the UN. Among many other roles, she served with the Commission on Human Rights, and was a delegate to the infamous Durban Conference in 2001.
Anne said to me that the UN turns out vast reams of reports, many of which contain revealing information; the organization relies on the assumption that hardly anyone will actually read and understand them. But Anne and her colleagues do read them, with the gimlet eye of the insider who knows first-hand the follies of the international bureaucracy.
Eye on the UN is new, but is already a definitive resource. Check it out.
UPDATE: A reader comments on the UN’s warmer attitude toward Israel:
The reason Sharon was able to speak without the General Assembly hall ringing