Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, warned on Thursday that terrorism has doubled its power.
Speaking at a Security Council Debate on the subject of conflict prevention, Prosor said that radical extremism affected the entire world and not just Israel. He called for a “war against radical ideology”.
“Radical extremism has touched every part of the world from Buenos Aires to Burgas and from Bangkok to Burkina Faso,” said Prosor.
“Oppression and extremism are not bound by borders. Nowhere is this threat more obvious than in the Middle East.
“In 2004, there were 21 Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 18 countries. Today, there are 41 Islamic terrorist groups operating in 24 countries. These groups have crippled communities and brought entire nations to their knees.
“And still the international community remains largely silent. It is silent as Hezbollah amasses and smuggles thousands of weapons, as Al-Qaeda abuses and persecutes women, as ISIS slaughters Christian and Yazidi communities, and as Hamas intentionally places Gaza’s men, women, and children in harm’s way,” said Prosor.
“Hamas - like ISIS and Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda – share a disdain for democracies, a contempt for modernity and a determination to destroy our way of life,” he added.
“In Gaza, Hamas sees no problem with abusing international humanitarian centers and religious institutions for terrorist purposes. It stores weapons in UN facilities, transports terrorists in ambulances and fires rockets indiscriminately from mosques, schools and hospitals deep into the heart of civilian centers.
“Few nations have the courage to admit that Hamas is committing a double war crime – targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians,” Ambassador Prosor continued.
“Every nation must ask itself whether it wishes to see a Middle East that is free, open, and tolerant or whether it wishes to see a Middle East in which a violent and radical minority suppresses the rights, beliefs and aspirations of millions of people,” he said.
“This is not a problem that is hundreds of miles and decades away. Radical extremism affects us all - right here and right now. Make no mistake: We are locked in a battle for our shared security,” warned Prosor.
“From this Chamber I issue a warning to the world – do not close your eyes to the threats around you.
“War is not inevitable - it is not a force of nature nor is it a part of human nature. It can and must be avoided. We all want to live in peace and see our children grown up in peace, but in the face of the threats that we are seeing every day, we cannot stand idle.
“To prevent the next war, we must go to war against radical ideology.
“We must declare a war on incitement, a war on bigotry, and a war on hypocrisy. Armed with our commitment to freedom, tolerance, and peace, I have no doubt that - working together - we will emerge victorious.
“This is a battle that we can win and we must win,” he concluded.