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Gilad Erdan is right: The morally bankrupt UN’s leader must resign

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan has repeatedly called on UN-Secretary General António Guterres to step down. Earlier this month, the Israeli envoy declared, “You have lost your moral compass and cannot remain secretary-general for even another minute.”

Many observers in the international community will reflexively dismiss Erdan’s suggestion as overdramatic and far-fetched. Yet in truth, his position is far from hyperbolic.

In the early 1930s and up until the last stage of World War II, Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust against innocent European Jewish civilians and the complete destruction of their communities was treated with an incomprehensible sense of appeasement, from the Urals all the way to Washington.

The ghost of Neville Chamberlain continues to haunt us. More than 80 years later, incomprehensible appeasement of the perpetrators is alive and well in the halls of the United Nations. While the world body’s chronic bias against Israel is hardly a novel phenomenon, the whitewashing of the October 7 Hamas massacre adds insult to injury.

October 7 constituted far more than an attack on Israel. This was an attack on the world — which is all the more reason for the UN to appropriately condemn it. Among the victims of terrorists’ murder of more than 1,200 innocent civilians and kidnapping of over 240 are citizens of the US, UK, Canada, France, Thailand, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Cambodia, Germany, Philippines, Chile, Brazil, Italy, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Ireland.

Yet somehow, the brutality of Hamas has not moved the needle for Guterres. Most recently, he lamented the “unparalleled and unprecedented” civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip, and described Gaza as “a graveyard for children.” He has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire, citing the “epic suffering” in Gaza in the wake of Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas positions.

In the past, Guterres has honored the victims of the Holocaust while simultaneously pledging to fight antisemitism. Now, in the aftermath of the deadliest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust, we must ask: Was it nothing more than lip service?

The UN leader’s lack of solidarity with regards to the horrific attacks on Israeli civilians feels as painful as the beheading of the poor farmer from Thailand working on a farm in southern Israel to support his family. With the world at an inflection point, the UN’s perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never been farther away from reality.

Seemingly justifying the attacks by Hamas, Guterres has said, “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum…The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled.” The secretary-general fails to understand or communicate that every Palestinian individual living in Gaza bears a modicum of responsibility for failing to denounce Hamas, while fresh-water pipes were retrofitted into rockets and launching pads aimed at Israel. This despicable practice has been taking place over the last 15 years, and the UN nor any of its members outside Israel have taken it seriously.

The UN’s bureaucrats refuse to acknowledge that Hamas and its terrorist objectives will be the sole benefactor of humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza, while ordinary Palestinians will continue to suffer due to Iranian-backed terror. They also fail to emphasize that the Palestinians have no capacity for state-building and take pachydermic steps towards attempting to solve their endemic problems. Israel’s decision to root out Hamas and thoroughly clean up the Gaza Strip is the most viable option and initiative for the region — especially for the sake of decent Palestinians hoping for normal lives inside their communities.

There cannot be any justification for demonstrating no compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said as much on October 24, telling Guterres, “As we meet here today, young babies, children, are held in Gaza. This is beyond imagination. A living nightmare. Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live? Definitely, this is not our world.”

Guterres has laid bare the UN’s moral bankruptcy, and its betrayal of all those who champion economic progress and peaceful coexistence. Gilad Erdan is right: It is time for the secretary-general to resign.

About the Author
The author has written various white papers and articles on the subject of Middle Eastern Studies, and a contributor of geopolitical analysis to several American and European newspapers and journals.
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