WASHINGTON – Rwanda along with Australia, Argentina, Luxembourg and South Korea won a seat on the UN Security Council
on Thursday – a move which could improve Israel's
status in the organization now that three of the countries to join are considered to be pro-Israel.
At the end of 2012, South Africa
who has been known to criticize Israel over its policies, will be leaving the organization, thus enhancing Israel's ability to improve its status in the organization.
Over the years, South African-Israeli relations have known ups and downs. By 1987, Israel found itself alone among the developed nations still maintaining strong and even strategic relations with apartheid South Africa. During the same year, the Israeli cabinet approved a series of measures designed to limit economic, sports and cultural ties with South Africa.
The movement for an Academic boycott of Israel, within the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, grew in South Africa after the end of apartheid.
There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of five veto-wielding permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It takes 9 out of the 15 votes to approve a resolution. The new line-up increases the chances of future votes favoring Israel.
Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Morocco, Guatemala and Togo will continue acting as members of the council for an additional year.
Rwanda was unopposed in its bid for the African seat on the council, but still needed approval from two-thirds of the UN General Assembly members present to secure the two-year term. It won 148 votes in the 193-nation assembly.
Argentina also was elected to the council unopposed, winning 182 votes. Australia won a seat with 140 votes, Luxembourg with 131 votes and South Korea with 149.
Cambodia, Bhutan and Finland failed to secure two-year seats on the council.
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor refused to rate the new members of the Security Council and the ones leaving it, but told Ynet that "Israel has close relations with all of the new members."
"Choosing members for the Security Council is like choosing a board of directors for the international community. This board will be making decisions in order to ensure world peace; issues concerning the Iranian threat and the civil war in Syria," he said.