UN should face criminal court – Israel
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, has said that the United Nations itself should stand trial in The Hague for acting “in service of terrorist organizations.” His remarks were in response to a genocide case brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its war with Hamas.
On Friday, Israel asked the UN’s ICJ to throw out a case brought by South Africa in late December that accused the state of committing genocide in its ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
Israel has sternly denied allegations of genocide, insisting that its ground and aerial offensive of the besieged Palestinian enclave is within the boundaries of international law and that it has a fundamental right to self-defense.
Israel formally responded to the genocide charge before the court in The Hague on Friday, accusing South Africa of “brazen gall” and saying that the genocide claim constitutes a “false and baseless” defense of Hamas.
Separately, Erdan, who has frequently sparred with UN officials in the months following Hamas’ October 7 cross-border attack into Israel, accused the UN on Friday of complicity with Hamas for considering South Africa’s allegation.
“The proceedings in The Hague demonstrate how the UN and its institutions have become weapons in service of terrorist organizations,” Erdan wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
“The use of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide against the Jewish state and in the service of the Nazis of our time, [Hamas leaders] Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, proves that there is no moral low the UN has not descended to,” Erdan added.
The Genocide Convention, and indeed the UN, was formed in 1945 as an international response to World War II and crimes committed against European Jews by Nazi Germany. It defines genocide as “a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part.”
At least 23,708 people have so far been killed in Gaza, health officials say.
Erdan added on Friday: “The UN is the one who should sit on trial in The Hague for turning a blind eye, and thereby serving as an accomplice, to the digging of terror tunnels in Gaza, in the use of international aid for the production of missiles and rockets, and in the education of hatred and murder.”
In late October, Erdan called for the resignation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for comments made before the international body in which he said that Hamas’ attack earlier that month “did not happen in a vacuum.”
Historically, the UN has adopted numerous resolutions condemning Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories – areas that were initially drawn up by the United Nations – as well as the expansion of Israeli settlements.
Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon previously drew scorn from Israeli representatives for saying of its relationship with the Palestinian territories that “people will always resist an occupation.”