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Israel’s UN ambassador says organization’s ‘days are numbered’

Gilad Erdan told the U.N. General Assembly that body’s anti-Israel animus is the reason U.S. “universities are permitting this Nazi-like behavior.” 

Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, addresses the U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question on April 17, 2024. Credit: Evan Schneider/U.N. Photo.
Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, addresses the U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question on April 17, 2024. Credit: Evan Schneider/U.N. Photo.

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations sharply criticized the global body on Wednesday, telling the U.N. General Assembly that the organization’s “days are numbered.”

In a procedural session convened to discuss the United States’ Apr. 18 veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution that was to give the Palestinians full U.N. membership, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said that by attempting to move forward with fuller recognition of Palestinian statehood, “you are telling the child-murdering Hamas rapists that terror pays off.”

Erdan assailed member states for doing “nothing for the victims” of Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, but “mobiliz[ing] for the murderers.”

He laid blame at the feet of the Palestinians for the violent anti-Israel demonstrations on college campuses around the United States, which have included assaults, the blocking of access for Jewish and Israel university community members and calls for genocide.

“We always knew that Hamas hides in schools,” said Erdan. “We just didn’t realize that it’s not only schools in Gaza. It’s also Harvard, Columbia and many elite universities.”

Erdan claimed it is the fault of the United Nations’ long standing anti-Israel positions that “universities are permitting this Nazi-like behavior,” and asked the body to reflect on “the generations you have indoctrinated.”

The diplomat went so far as to say that the United Nations will be brought down by its “moral hypocrisy and blindness,” prompting the “establishment of a new world institution” that will not “give dictators a free pass and terrorists a lifeline.”

Robert Wood, deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that despite the Apr. 18 veto, Washington was not against Palestinian statehood and full U.N. membership.

“We also have long been clear that premature actions here in New York, even with the best of intentions, will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people,” said Wood at Wednesday’s session.

Noting that the Security Council’s committee on new members could not establish a consensus position on the Palestinians’ application, Wood specifically cited the lack of full governance by one entity over the Palestinian citizenry.

“We have long called on the Palestinian Authority to undertake necessary reforms to help establish the attributes of readiness for statehood and note that Hamas—a terrorist organization—is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza, an integral part of the state envisioned in this resolution,” Wood said.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ U.N. envoy, announced on Wednesday that a General Assembly resolution asking the Security Council to reconsider its Palestinian membership decision will be voted upon on May 10.

It is almost certain to pass, turning the decision back over to the 15-member council on whether to place the item back on its agenda. 

The Palestinians have held non-state observer status since 2012, following the failure of their 2011 membership application to advance out of committee. 

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