Path to USA Lies Through Israel Not New Delhi: Israel Joins Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in UNHRC
Posted on February 13th, 2014

– Kumar Moses

In an unprecedented development, Israel jointed the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) of the UNHRC when it re-joined UNHRC after a lapse of 18 months. It is unprecedented because Israel was always in the Asia group. Geographically too Israel is an Asian country. But by unanimous agreement it was admitted to the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in December 2013. Turkey initially objected but later accepted it.

Lies and damn lies

“The path to USA lies not through Israel but through New Delhi” ” Dayan Jayatilleka

Dayan Jayatilleka is wrong on this occasion as Israel is now in the UNHRC Western European and Others Group which is the closest ally of USA! This is in addition to very close ties the two countries have. Out of all Western European and Others Group countries, Israel is the most accessible nation to Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan leaders including the President, Foreign Minister and the Defence Secretary immediately visited Israel to garner support. It was a very clever move which must be commended. Following their visit, Secretary to the President and Advisor Lalith Weeratunga visited USA and made an exceptionally well completed comprehensive presentation on Sri Lanka’s progress in LLRC Recommendations and the work done towards the 2013 UNHRC resolution. Sri Lanka is highly appreciative of Israel’s contribution to bring peace to the island nation and its continuing support in sustaining peace.

Sri Lanka attaches equal importance to Arabic nations. All nations that stand by Sri Lanka are continuing allies. Dayan made the erroneous statement soon after these two crucial sets of visits. Dayan’s frustrations are understandable as it sidelines India which poisoned Sri Lanka’s previously close relationship with USA. Indian plan is to destroy Sri Lanka’s stable relationship with USA and rob lucrative export deals. Currently USA is Sri Lanka’s largest export destination.

UNHRC regions

UNHRC has divided the world into various regions including Asia Pacific, Africa, Western European and Others, Latin America, etc. There is a set quota of current members elected from each region. A country may be elected from the region it is in. Since UNHRC has only 47 vacancies at any given time, only a few countries would get elected. Israel, like Sri Lanka is not a current elected member of the UNHRC.

Cooperation within regional nations is essential to protect national interests within the region. The Western European and Others group always vote as one block vote which is a formidable strength. A deal was struck between Israel and the Western European and Others Group not to participate the standing Agenda Item No.7 on Palestinian matters for two years. In return Israel re-joined the UNHRC which it left 18 months earlier citing discrimination and unfair targeting. Unfortunately the Asia Pacific group is divided and doesn’t vote in unison which makes every regional nation weak. There are certain Asian countries, notably India, that vote against their very own regional neighbors.

Indian role

India has no role in Sri Lankan affairs but wants a finger in the pie at all times. This colonial approach has not benefitted anyone. When Foreign Minister Peiris approached his Indian counterpart Kaushid on US pressure he advised to take it directly with USA. That too shows India’s inability to approach USA and the western camp. When the US resolution went to the UNHRC it demanded accountability, human rights and media freedom. Sri Lanka could have handled these well. But India added other demands into the resolution including demilitarisation, devolution and other Tamil Nadu demands. Ultimately the resolution presented to UNHRC in 2012 and 2013 had a heavy baggage.

India is a very costly and needless intermediary compared to Israel. It must be noted that during the war USA authorised Israel to sell weapons to Sri Lanka. Through Israel, Sri Lanka approached USA over diplomatic and defence matters. It was a very fruitful dealing both ways while India imposed a weapons purchasing moratorium on Sri Lanka in 2006 which was not honoured. At one point India arrogantly declared Sri Lanka must come to India to buy its weapon and India decides what weapons Sri Lanka buys. In similar vein India tries to decide what diplomatic and UNHRC manoeuvres Sri Lanka must make.

In essence, the path to USA is through Israel and not New Delhi. Sri Lankan leaders have done well to go down that path whatever the US response to it is. Ultimately the US position is decided by the Americans, not anyone else. In international relations, only interests matter; all else immaterial. Win or lose Sri Lanka must defend its interests.

5 Responses to “Path to USA Lies Through Israel Not New Delhi: Israel Joins Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in UNHRC”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Now UK has joined USA and Endia.

    Looks like the damn commonwealth crown is a crown of thorns. MR has to wear it for 2 years.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Huge posters in Colombo call MR “Leader of the World” ( because of commonwealth). Why couldn’t he stop this poster ?

    MR is the damn commonwealth clown. MR has to wear it for 2 years.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    The SE Asian region has to sign a Treaty of Peace to stay NON-ALIGNED in Cold Wars and World Wars. Use the Law to guard the region. Such a Treaty should override all other agreements signed in by Lanka & India, including Commonwealth obligations etc.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    The non align thing DIDN’T work the last time!!

    NON ALIGN leader Endia sponsored SL terrorism.

    Why we need NON ALIGN now when there is NO COLD WAR according to you?

  5. Marco Says:

    Kumar failed to mention the Israelis were training the terror group LTTE cadres at the same time, mere 800 yards away from the Sri Lankan armed forces. The Israelis took great lengths to keep the two groups apart at leisure time.
    Israel not only sold arms to SL armed forces but also to LTTE.

    Israel is equally guilty as India.

    I find it quite amusing “the path to USA is through Israel and not New Delhi”. Why would SL want to find a path to US and even if it did,it only strengthens India stranglehold on Sri Lanka.

    There is likely to be a major foreign policy shift after the Indian elections this year. Congress have taken a softly softly approach with Sri Lanka.
    I hate to imagine the “Modi” policy with regards to Sri Lanka. He appears to be from the “saddam hussein school of diplomacy”- Shoot first then we talk!

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