Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, on Friday blasted leftist organizations Peace Now and B’Tselem for taking part in a UN Security Council meeting on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
The members of the Security Council had convened the special meeting, entitled “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution” and initiated by Egypt, Malaysia, Senegal, Angola and Venezuela.
Security Council members and representatives from NGOs took part in the meeting and reported on the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, the legalization of existing communities in Judea and Samaria, and what the Palestinians refer to as “land confiscations.”
Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, said at the meeting that “with every breath the Palestinians take they are breathing an occupation. Israel cannot call itself a democracy while occupying another people.”
El-Ad also accused Israeli security forces of ill-treatment of Palestinian civilians and called on the Security Council to take actions against Israel, said a statement from the Israeli UN mission.
Peace Now representative Lara Friedman added that “Israeli policy in the settlements is ending the chance for peace. I call on the Security Council to send a message to Israel and to end this policy.”
Danon harshly criticized the Israeli organizations that took part in the meeting, saying, “Just two days after anti-Israel forces approved a resolution intending to sever the historical bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, Israeli organizations chose to slander and besmirch Israel’s good name at an event organized by the Palestinian delegation.
“We will continue to fight and tell the truth about Israel despite the attempts to spread lies about us. It is unfortunate that Israeli organizations have joined the Palestinian attempts to wage diplomatic terror against Israel at the UN,” he added.
A concept note circulated before the event by the organizers stated that the prospects for a two-state solution are jeopardized by “the presence and continuing growth of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land occupied by Israel since June 1967.”
They also wrote in the note that Israeli security forces “routinely oversee acts of settler violence against Palestinian civilians, denying protection to the occupied population.”
The participation at the meeting by Peace Now and B’Tselem was criticized by Israeli officials on Thursday, among them MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), who said that these organizations should be cut off "because they have already cut themselves off from the discourse of Israeli society, from the people who democratically elected their leaders in the Knesset. They don't care about the terror wave affecting Israel or the constant incitement to kill Israelis."
"They have cut themselves off from the bereaved families who lost loved ones. They have cut themselves off from the soldiers and security forces who sacrifice their lives to protect this nation," he added.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)