The lopsided December 2017 vote on Jerusalem in the UN General Assembly gave the impression that Israel's international isolation may be growing. In fact, the opposite is true--and UN votes are a misleading indicator.
I tell the story in a new Council on Foreign Relations "Expert Brief," found here on the CFR web site. Especially in Asia, and even in the Arab world, Israel is forging new relationships. The Brief concludes this way:
At the bilateral diplomatic and economic level, Israel is gaining ground, even with Muslim-majority countries. The UN system is a lagging indicator; Israel will continue to lose votes and be the target of extraordinary attention and condemnation there, even from states whose voting patterns do not reflect their own bilateral relationships with the Jewish state. Perhaps it is the symbolic nature of votes in the United Nations not followed by concrete steps that leads states to continue old voting patterns there. Perhaps it is the fact that all votes are public, while bilateral relations can be hidden. But the general trend is clear: Israel is forging new diplomatic and economic ties with many countries, improving old ties with others, and expanding its trade and financial partnerships.