"December 23, 2016 marked a new nadir for the United Nations Security Council as it adopted a shameful resolution questioning the very legitimacy of Israel's presence at the holy Western Wall in Jerusalem. Lost in the rancor of this resolution, however, was a statement Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made 10 days earlier declaring Israel's intent to compete for a nonpermanent seat on this very same Security Council.
Now, more than ever, it is time for Israel to take its place as a leader in the world's premiere international organization. Our country is qualified, well equipped and well prepared for this important role.
We know this will not be easy. Resolutions and motions that are routinely passed by consensus at the U.N. when proposed by other countries are often subject to intense debate and wrangling when they are brought forward by the Jewish state. The enmity also extends to matters of leadership. The U.N. comprises five regional groups: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and WEOG (Western Europe and Others). If a country is not a member of a regional group, it cannot be considered for leadership roles at the U.N. Though Israel has been a full member of the U.N. since 1949, for many years we were banned from joining our regional group of Asia-Pacific. It was not until 2000 that we were allowed to join WEOG on a temporary basis and then as full members in 2004...
Israel has set the ambitious goal of obtaining one of the three nonpermanent WEOG seats on the Security Council in 2019. To do so we must convince two-thirds of the General Assembly members of the worthiness of this cause.
Make no mistake about it, we are as deserving as any nation of this leadership role: Israel funds a higher percentage of the U.N. budget than the other 65 countries yet to serve on the Security Council combined. Moreover, few countries have Israel's firsthand experience in the failures of the U.N.-and acute awareness of the possibilities were this organization to be set on the right path...
We believe that by playing a key leadership in the U.N.'s most important body, Israel can make real change in the international community-not just supplementing the efforts of other nations, but integrating our knowledge and know-how into the system itself.
The past few months have raised serious questions about the credibility of the U.N. as a whole and the Security Council in particular as it continues its unending obsession with Israel while paying way too little attention to the other ills of the world. By electing Israel to serve on the Security Council, the members of the U.N. will make a strong statement finally accepting the Jewish state as a full and equal member.
More important, the international community will gain a leader committed to tirelessly furthering the noble goals upon which the parliament of nations was founded almost 72 years ago."