newsIsrael at War

Israeli UN envoy: ‘How morally bankrupt has this body become?’

“There are no morals here, only bias and hypocrisy,” Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan told a General Assembly meeting on the Israel-Hamas war.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaking at “Hear Our Voices: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Oct. 7 Hamas Attack,” on Dec. 4, 2023. Photo by Shahar Azran.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaking at “Hear Our Voices: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Oct. 7 Hamas Attack,” on Dec. 4, 2023. Photo by Shahar Azran.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan ripped the U.N. General Assembly during a Tuesday morning meeting, while holding up a cake with the face of Kfir Bibas, who will turn one year old in the coming days. Bibas, along with his family, was taken hostage by Hamas during their massacre on Oct. 7.

“A quarter of Kfir’s life has been spent as a hostage. He was kidnapped before he could even learn to say ‘mama’” said Erdan. “Is he getting the food and vitamins he needs to grow and develop? Is he crawling? How can a baby be a target? A deliberate target?”

Tuesday’s General Assembly session was held as the result of a U.S. veto of a Russian-drafted amendment to a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Recent Security Council procedural changes trigger an automatic meeting of the General Assembly whenever one of the council’s five permanent members wields its veto power.

Washington’s envoy said Russia’s demands, which in part triggered the U.S. veto, were “disconnected from the situation on the ground.”

Erdan on Tuesday accused the United Nations of becoming “an accomplice to terrorists,” which obsesses over Gazans, who put Hamas in power, while ignoring Israeli victims of terror.

“There are no morals here, only bias and hypocrisy,” said Erdan.

Robert Wood, U.S. deputy ambassador, chided member states, calling their silence over the plight of the remaining hostages “deeply troubling.”

Wood also cited the lack of demands for Hamas to lay down its arms and surrender.

“It would be good if there was a strong international voice pressing Hamas’s leaders to do what is necessary to end the conflict that they set in motion,” said Wood.

Moscow, meanwhile, blasted Washington, with Deputy Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva accusing the United States of “blessing the ongoing extermination of the Gazans,” partly through the use of its Security Council vetoes.

She said the White House is seeking to “deliberately undermine multilateral efforts under the auspices of the U.N.” in order to further its own goals in the Middle East.

Chile used the meeting to announce it would “promptly present a referral of the situation” to the International Criminal Court prosecutor. Chile’s hard-left president, Gabriel Boric, has a long history of anti-Israel positions and has only criticized Chilean Jews for supporting the Jewish state.

Additionally, some three dozen people claiming to be rabbis and rabbinical students infiltrated the Security Council chamber under the cover of a guided tour, where they chanted support for an immediate ceasefire.

Several anti-Israel groups generally considered well outside the Jewish mainstream organized the protest. As they did on Tuesday, the groups use traditional Jewish items such as a shofar and tallit to appear more authentic.

The group was escorted outside by U.N. security personnel and continued their protest from across the street.

The Security Council is scheduled to meet again on Friday at the request of Algeria to discuss what it calls the threat of forced displacement of Gazans.

Meanwhile, as part of Security Council Resolution 2720, which drew the aforementioned amendment veto, Sigrid Kaag, the U.N.’s newly-appointed senior coordinator for Gaza, began her duties on Monday. According to the United Nations, she heads to Washington for unspecified meetings this week and will start her regional work in Amman.

Thus far, she has not requested a visa from Israel to enter Gaza. Israel has denied visas and visa extensions to at least four U.N. employees since the start of the war.

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