Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a review of Israel’s relationship with the UN, including the presence of UN representatives in Israel [Image: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters].

Considering the huge role the United Nations played in the creation of the modern state of Israel, Mr Netanyahu’s behaviour can only be seen as that of an errant child cheeking a parent.

In response, UN representatives might wish to consider whether Israel has crossed the line from legitimate to rogue statehood. Then we’d all be wading through the metaphorical mire of whether it should continue to enjoy international recognition.

It is worth bearing in mind that, according to Israel itself, the UN has passed 223 resolutions condemning that country for its activities.

While Israel enjoyed the protection of the United States, there wasn’t much to be done. But that protection has been – temporarily, at least – rescinded.

Any sabre-rattling on Mr Netanyahu’s part may, therefore, be vain and it might be more productive for him to seek alternative ways of settling his differences, not only with the UN, but also with the US and Palestine.

Personally, I doubt he will see sense – I’ve been aware of this man for more than 30 years and he has never seemed the most reasonable of people.

But his current course risks exactly the kind of condemnation against which the pro-Israel lobby has always made accusations of anti-Semitism – accusations that may receive short shrift in the current climate.

What next?

Israel will reassess its ties with the UN following the adoption by the security council of a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced.

The vote was able to pass the 15-member council on Friday after the US broke with a longstanding approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power as it had many times before – a decision that Netanyahu called “shameful”.

“I instructed the foreign ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the Israeli funding of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in Israel,” Netanyahu said on Saturday.

“I have already instructed to stop about 30m shekels (£6.3m) in funding to five UN institutions, five bodies, that are especially hostile to Israel … and there is more to come,” he said.

The Israeli leader did not name the institutions or offer any further details.

Source: Israel to ‘reassess’ ties with UN, says Benjamin Netanyahu | World news | The Guardian

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