(JNS.org) The commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp continued from Tuesday into Wednesday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, as a result of scheduling changes due to this week’s winter storm on the East Coast.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, criticized the accusations of genocide and war crimes that are leveled against Israel at the international body.
Rivlin said that the "setting of red lines" for U.N. intervention on alleged genocide "requires us to stop diluting and cynically exploiting them in the name of pseudo-objectivity, as is done in the rhetoric of human rights with the use of terms such as 'genocide' for political purposes.”
Equating the situation in Israel with genocide and war crimes is an “absurd” comparison that “we as Israelis are exposed to constantly,” said Rivlin. The anti-Israel accusations, he said, confuse “the ally with the enemy” and undermine the U.N.'s “ability to effectively fight the phenomenon of genocide.”
"I stand before you at a time of great tension in our region. My heart and my thoughts are with my people in Israel. Terrorism does not distinguish between blood. In this war, all of us, all the nations united, countries of the free world, must form a united front," Rivlin added.
Rivlin will reportedly return to Israel sooner than expected due to the Hezbollah attack on an Israel Defense Forces convoy in northern Israel on Wednesday.
"I want to send my condolences to the bereaved families as well as my wishes for a full recovery to the wounded," the Israeli president said in a statement before his U.N. address. "I am certain that the IDF knows how to manage the situation, and that Israel’s leaders will work to calm the situation as much as possible. We are with you, even when we are required to do our job abroad, for our country and for our people."