Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ron Prosor

By Kaylene Rudy | Special for the AJT

Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, visited Atlanta last month. Prosor has become known for his precise and witty presentation of Israel’s views, specifically relating to Iran. “Permitting Iran to serve on the U.N.’s leading disarmament committee (First committee) is like appointing a drug lord CEO of a pharmaceutical company.” Prosor was a featured speaker at a Metro Atlanta Chamber event co-hosted by Conexx and sponsored by Georgia Power. He also spoke at the Atlanta Jewish Academy during the second program of their Israel Speakers Series, and met with CNN’s executive and senior staff for an “off the record” briefing.

I also had the opportunity to ask the Ambassador some specific questions related to the currents situations that Israel is facing today.

Q: Do you feel the current United States Administration is doing enough to assist Israel with the growing tensions?

A: The relationship between Israel and the USA is a keystone for political and security issues in Israel. There is no relationship in the world comparable. They understand our challenges, some of which America has experienced firsthand. We are both fighting against the radical groups that are undermining the core values that both countries share. We are fortunate to have American support both at United Nations and outside of it, and we will continue working together to achieve common goals.

Q: In light of the recent incidents in Jerusalem, how confident are you that the European Union will re-shift their focus from Israeli actions to pressuring the Palestinians into being accountable for their actions and ending incitement against Israel emanating from its leaders, education system, media, and religious institutions?

A: When it comes to matters of security, Israel has learned the hard way that we cannot rely on others to ensure the safety of our citizens. Only one country has always been there to offer support – the United States of America. Israel is tired of hollow promises from European leaders; they speak about Israel’s right to self-defense, but when we exercise that right, we are criticized by them. There is no question in my mind that one of the root causes of the conflict is in the Palestinian education. Most children in the world grow up watching cartoons of Mickey Mouse singing and dancing.  Palestinian children also grow up watching Mickey Mouse on Palestinian national television, yet instead of the original character that spreads joy and acceptance, there is a twisted figure dressed as Mickey Mouse that dances with an explosive belt and sings “Death to America and death to the Jews.” In mosques, religious leaders are spreading vicious libels accusing Jews of destroying Muslim holy sites, and in sports stadiums, teams are named after terrorists.

European Countries should be taking a stand to put an end to the Palestinian enticement and condemn their cries of joy after Jews are murdered. De facto- we see a different approach: Europe condemns the terrorist attacks, yet still encourages Palestinian unilateral actions and threatens Israel with sanctions and boycotts. Spain condemns terror attacks in the morning, yet by evening its parliament recognizes a Palestinian state. The same story can be seen with other European countries. Every European parliament that voted to prematurely and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state is giving the Palestinians exactly what they want – statehood without peace. By handing them a state on a silver platter, they are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate or compromise or renounce violence. They are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price.

When it comes to Israel’s security, we cannot and will not rely on others – Israel must be able to defend itself by itself.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best resolution to the escalating violence in Jerusalem and Israel?

A: You don’t have to be Catholic to visit the Vatican and you don’t have to be Jewish to visit the Western Wall, but Palestinian leaders would like to see the day when only Muslims can visit the Temple Mount. In 1967, Israel reunited Jerusalem and for the first time in decades, all people – regardless of nationality or religion – could visit the city’s holy sites.  Israel had authority over the Temple Mount – but out of a commitment to peace, we guaranteed that Muslims would be able to pray at their holy sites and recognized the universal holiness of the place, therefore it was agreed that every religion would have access to the site. Recently, PM Netanyahu travelled to Jordan to meet with Secretary of State Kerry and King Abdullah. He reiterated Israel’s commitment to ensuring people of all faiths can freely access the Temple Mount. While Netanyahu was spreading calm and assurance of the “status quo”, President Abbas has called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount by using “all means necessary” and repeatedly calling for a “Day of Rage.” Israel is invested in peace and will continue to do so. When we faced an Arab leader who wanted peace, we made peace. President Abbas must decide if he is a partner for peace or a partner in terror.

Q: Iran?

A: While most nations are focused on the threat posed by ISIS, Iran poses an even greater and immediate international threat. Iran and ISIS are two extreme sides of a double-edged sword – One Shiite the other Sunni. The international community must not lose sight of what Iran is capable of doing. There has been no change in Iran’s behavior or intentions. Iran continues to support Hamas and is economically responsible for terror attacks around the world, such as in Thailand and Burgos. In March, the IDF intercepted KLOS C carrying advanced rockets which originated from Iran. These threats are not kept in secret, yet the international community still wants to sign an agreement with this regime. Therefore we will repeatedly say that no deal is better than a bad deal.  A ‘good deal’ would be modeled on the Syrian deal that saw the regime’s chemical weapons removed. In Iran, this means removing all of Iran’s nuclear components in exchange for lifting the sanctions.

Editor’s Note: Kaylene Rudy is Business Manager and writer for the Atlanta Jewish Times and can be reached at 404-883-2130 x 100 or krudy@atljewishtimes.com.