Israel calls on UN chief to resign
Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan demanded Secretary-General Antonio Guterres step down on Tuesday, accusing him of showing “compassion” for terrorists and murderers in a speech to the Security Council.
“The UN Secretary-General, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the UN. I call on him to resign immediately,” Erdan said on X, formerly Twitter. “There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people.”
The “shocking” speech by Guterres is evidence that the secretary-general “is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” Erdan argued.
“His statement that, ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder. It’s really unfathomable. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views. A tragedy!” he posted.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen reacted to Guterres’ speech in the Security Council by pointing his finger and yelling at the secretary-general. He then announced he would refuse to meet with him again.
“After October 7th there is no room for a balanced approach. Hamas must be wiped out from the world!” Cohen declared on X.
Guterres had condemned the “appalling” and inexcusable violence by Hamas, but noted that Gaza had been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation” and that the Israeli response to October 7 attacks has amounted to collective punishment of Palestinians.
“I am deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza. Let me be clear: No party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law,” Guterres told the Security Council. He also urged an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” to facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas, deliver aid to civilians and “ease epic suffering” in the Palestinian territory.
Speaking at the same meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that the UN “must affirm the right of any nation to defend itself and to prevent such harm from repeating itself,” noting that no member of the Security Council “could or would tolerate the slaughter of its people.”
Blinken also questioned what he described as lack of international outrage, “revulsion” and explicit condemnation of the Hamas attacks.