Gilad Erdan shows the Hamas Charter
Gilad Erdan shows the Hamas Charter Israeli Mission to the UN

Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday after the adoption of the UN's biennial Global Counterterrorism Strategy. He said, "For Israel, the adoption of the GCTS is, unfortunately, not a theoretical or academic exercise. During the weeks we sat here debating this resolution, Israeli civilians from our capital in Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and Ashkelon, sat in bomb shelters because of Hamas’s relentless terror attacks."

Following many diplomatic efforts by Ambassador Erdan and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, the resolution determining the UN's strategy to combat terrorism included a number of important items that are significant achievements for Israel. At Israel's request, and only one month after Operation Guardian of the Walls, the UN condemned the use of human shields by terrorist organizations, a well-known method of operation by Hamas and Hezbollah.

In addition, the UN condemned, for the first time, anti-Semitic terrorism and recognized its existence. This important and significant decision comes against the backdrop of the current wave of global anti-Semitism.

The UN resolution also condemned the use of the Internet as a tool to encourage and recruit terrorist operatives and called on Internet companies to take responsibility for misuses of the technology, a goal Ambassador Erdan has worked for since his time as Israel's Minister of Public Security and in the international arena at the UN.

Ambassador Erdan said in his speech, "Israel was glad to see the important language condemning the use of human shields retained in the resolution. Terrorists must not be allowed to use schools, homes and hospitals to shield their murderous activities. The use of such horrific tactics epitomize the flagrant disregard for international law and human life that characterizes groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. These tactics also pose great challenges for law-abiding states trying to defend their own citizens. The unambiguous stance on this issue adopted by the international community underlines the challenges posed by modern, asymmetric warfare in which democratic states face off against terrorist organizations."

He also said, "We welcome the GCTS’ acknowledgement of the upswing in hate speech and terrorist attacks targeting religious and ethnic communities, which included an explicit condemnation of antisemitism, in line with the findings of the Secretary General’s report on global terrorism. We have all witnessed anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish communities around the world, including here in the streets of New York, in recent weeks. It is critical that the international community take a clear stance against these attacks and develop additional tools to combat such appalling assaults against Jewish and other groups."

The Ambassador concluded, "As I have said before, terrorism is terrorism is terrorism, and can never - and should never – be explained away, justified, or excused - no matter what."