Gilad Erdan
Gilad ErdanFlash 90

Today, Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan addressed the UN Security Council in a debate on the Middle East.

"Israel and more and more moderate Arab states are working to move beyond the past of hate, instability and fundamentalism, towards a future of dialogue, tolerance and peace. A future in which cooperation replaces conflict and respectful dialogue replaces violent disputes. Unfortunately, terrorist groups like Hamas, and radical regimes like Iran, oppose this vision of a brighter future. They are fighting to keep the Middle East stuck in a dark age of conflict. A past in which the narratives of the extremists dominate the international discourse, and in which Israel is singled out for demonization.

Erdan noted that "In May this year, Hamas launched thousands of rockets against millions of Israeli civilians. Those who truly understand the Middle East know that this was a reaction to the Palestinian Authority’s decision, once again, to cancel planned elections. 2 Hamas was seeking to increase its political power and popularity on the Palestinian street at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, and, so, looked for an excuse to attack Israel. It found an excuse. A very, very weak one.

"Or at least one that would be considered very weak in context of any other country. Let me ask you, would you ever accept the narrative of a designated terrorist organization as a valid excuse for firing thousands of rockets at your citizens? At your capital?

"Of course not."

He added, "Make no mistake, the costs of adopting the narratives of the extremists in the Middle East, and enabling those who oppose peace to keep the region stuck in the past, are enormous, not only for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"While Iran plots to kidnap its critics in the West, it has, together with its proxy Hezbollah, kidnapped the Lebanese People, while making a mockery of Resolution 1701 and UNIFIL... This Council must take the opportunity of the renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate next month to constrain Hezbollah’s terror activity in southern Lebanon by assuring that UNIFIL has the tools, authority and resolve to fulfill its mandate."

"When this Council fails to take strong action against the world’s worst human rights violators like Iran and Syria, and instead, singles out the world’s only Jewish state, it is no wonder that companies like Ben and Jerry’s and Unilever allow themselves to single out Israel for boycott…In light of these double standards, the claims of UN bodies and companies like Ben and Jerry’s to be motivated by high ideals and objective standards, melt to nothing, like ice cream in the summer sun."

"This or that NGO, or even the UN Security Council, cannot undermine the millennia-old connection between the Jewish People and its eternal capital of Jerusalem. Under every Jewish wedding canopy, everywhere around the world, a promise is made to remember Jerusalem. We will always keep that promise," he said.