Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

U.N. UPDATE: Nobody Wants To Talk Desertification

Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, has issues with the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not only is it harming the peace process, he said, it is also distracting the international community from the world’s real problems.

“There’s hunger in Africa, millions are suffering of malnutrition, there is a genocide going on in Syria, huge problems of human rights everywhere, and all of this U.N. is going crazy because of the Palestinians,” Ayalon said as he rushed from one meeting to another at the U.N. headquarters. “The Palestinians are taking up resources, both intellectual and bureaucratic, instead of letting the U.N. deal with the real problems of the world.”

As if to stress the point, Ayalon walks into one of the U.N. conference halls to talk about the threat of desertification, and as it turns out, Israel has a lot to say on this issue. In a speech filled with acronyms and scientific lingo, Ayalon, who was elected to the Knesset as part of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, laid out an Israeli offer to help fight the spread of arid lands.

“Israel is not alone,” he said later, “When it comes to international cooperation in fighting terror, agriculture, food safety, we are a country that other nations look up to.” Ayalon believes this is the real world and he refers to the world of debates over Palestinian statehood as a “virtual” one. But as he left the hall reporters from around the world follow him. All wanted to ask about Palestine. None seem to care much about desertification.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.