The U.N. is still not a friend of Israels

Finally this week, after four decades of waiting, Israel has been given a seat — albeit temporarily — on one of the United Nations regional bodies.

The United Nations has treated Israel like a pariah until this week. It was the only country denied a seat on a regional board.

The regional boards have a critical role in the U.N.'s governance. They decide which countries hold the 10 rotating seats on the all-important Security Council, and they determine which is assigned to other U.N. committees.

Why did it take 40 years for Israel to get a seat on a regional board? Because the Asian group, where Israel belongs geographically, is controlled by Iran and Iraq, and they have both denied Israel a seat.

Finally, to get around that brick wall and to mollify an angry U.S. government, the United Nations accepted Israel into the European, North American and Others regional group. But the restrictions placed against Israel should only embarrass the United Nations further.

*Israel's membership in the European-North American group is only for four years. Israel was told it must ultimately be accepted into the Asian group.

*During those four years, Israel can only participate in group meetings that take place in New York, and not in other cities where the U.N. operates, including Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, Kenya. This restriction effectively bars Israel from U.N. talks on human rights, racism and a number of other issues.

*Israel will have little if any say on who gets U.N. posts and sits on various committees.

The United Nations may view these actions as an end to its long history of discrimination against Israel. We do not.

Israel should be treated like any other U.N. nation, with permanent membership on a regional board and all the rights that entails.

For too many years, the U.N. equated Zionism with racism. Although that resolution was repealed, apparently attitudes have not changed that much.

So we are left to wonder — when will the United Nations cease its discriminatory ways?