Madam President.

I am pleased to be speaking here today, and to have the opportunity to congratulate the new members of the Security Council.

I expressed my hope a year ago, that the discussions on the Middle East in this forum would be more balanced and would finally focus on the true threats that plague the region.

Unfortunately, I have to convey this wish again for 2022.

Indeed, there are today, serious actors that threaten regional stability and security.

No more so than Iran, whose leaders continue to weave their web of terror across the region.

I want to begin in fact, by expressing my deepest condolences to the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, following the abhorrent attack by the Iranian sponsored Houthi terror group,

as well as to the Permanent Representative of India for the loss of life.

There is no doubt that the threat caused by the Iranian regime demands the urgent attention of the whole world – none more so than here in the Security Council.

Yet despite such urgent and pressing issues, we regrettably find ourselves once again hearing the same false narratives attacking Israel.

It’s just the same old falsehoods. And the same old hypocrisy.

And if there is one word that stands out above everything at the UN, it is hypocrisy.

Madam President,

We heard from the Palestinian Foreign Minister. We heard all the regurgitated (רִגוּרגְ׳טֵייטֶד) accusations and baseless claims.

But as he stands here and points the finger at Israel, what the Minister conveniently ignores, is that in the last month, just one month, more than 200 terror attacks have been carried out by Palestinians against Israeli citizens.

143 rock throwing attacks in just a month.

20 grenades and Molotov cocktails in just a month.

And dozens more stabbings, car rammings, shootings, and other violent physical attacks risking – and claiming – Israeli lives… all in just a month.

That ended a year, which saw thousands of other violent attacks against Israelis; attacks that are at best, only marginally mentioned to the council.

Attacks such as rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza, shootings and stabbings of civilians in Jerusalem, and car rammings.

But there is another kind of terror attack. A kind of Palestinian terror, which endangers the daily lives of innocent civilians throughout Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.

A terror attack, which is neither mentioned in UN reports nor presented here before the Council.

Terror attacks with rocks – not little stones – but rocks like this (lift rock) that are thrown at Israelis in their cars and on buses.

They are thrown at Israeli men and women, at Israeli babies and children.

Every. Single. Day.

In 2021 alone, Israelis suffered one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five rock attacks by Palestinian terrorists.

But the world says nothing.

Members of the Council,

Would you consider it a terror attack if a rock like this was thrown at your car while driving with your children?

This is exactly the kind of attack that claimed the life of four-year-old Adelle Biton, and many others.

What would you do, Honorable Delegates?

Would you at the very least condemn these brutal terror attacks carried out against Israeli civilians by Palestinians?

Look at this.

Rocks kill.

A terrorist is not only one with a gun.

A terrorist is not only one with a bomb.

Rocks can and do kill.

But do we hear condemnation from the Palestinian Authority?

Did the Palestinian Authority condemn the murder of Eli Kay? An Israeli tour guide who was shot in the back by a Palestinian terrorist, as he walked in Jerusalem a few weeks ago?

Did the Palestinian Authority condemn and decry the murder of Yehuda Dimentman who was ambushed in his car and murdered last month?

Do they condemn or do they condone?

Where is the voice of the Palestinian leadership against any violence?

Israelis do not hear it, the international community does not hear it, and the Palestinian people certainly do not hear any condemnation.

Instead, they hear encouragement and incitement.

When the Palestinians see the support and honour that their leaders give to terrorists, they clearly see that terror pays.

Madam President,

This hypocrisy, this moral bankruptcy, is a poison that is spread online, in the media, in the mosques and even in the schools, under the Palestinian Authority.

Yet despite all this, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, who has not once condemned acts of Palestinian terror, has the audacity to accuse Israel of violence.

He blames Israelis when he knows very well, that Israeli violence against Palestinians is the exception to the rule, not the norm.

He knows very well that whenever there are such incidents, Israel and its leadership are abhorred.

We probe, we investigate, and we condemn.

But when Palestinians attack Israelis – the Palestinian Authority celebrates, congratulates, and rewards.

The Palestinian Authority continues to pay the salaries of terrorists – in a ‘Pay to Slay’ policy that means, the more Jewish blood you spill, the more money you and your family get.

But Madam President,

The hypocrisy does not end there either. This Security Council also continues to fail at clearly condemning Palestinian terror.

Israel - a country with a robust legal system, that has zero tolerance for violence and terror, regardless of the perpetrators identity - is blamed, while the Palestinian’s acts of terror and incitement are whitewashed.

This complete lack of perspective and proportion only serves to send one message to the Palestinians – and that is that Jewish blood is cheap, and terror against Jews is acceptable.

A message of which we see the impact around the world, as Jews continue to be attacked simply because they are Jews.

Madam President,

The Palestinians look for every chance to distort reality in order to inflame the situation on the ground, while the international community embraces their libels.

What is happening right now in Sheikh Jarrach is a perfect example.

We are talking about a family that stole public lands for their own private use, while these lands have been earmarked for the building of a school for children with special needs.

This is a municipal issue that has gone through all of the respected channels of the independent Israeli legal system, yet nevertheless the Palestinians use this issue – and this institution’s Pavlovian anti-Israel response – for their own political gains.

It is not too late for the UN Security Council to make a New Year’s Resolution.

Let 2022, be the year that it no longer allows endless attacks on Israel from its platform.

Let 2022 be the year, that it holds the Palestinians accountable for their crimes.

Let 2022 be the year, that the United Nations, as an institution ends the hypocrisy against Israel.

Madam President,

When the world, and the UN Security Council in particular, applies its moral compass correctly, then we may well find the path to peace.

But while it allows itself to be led on by the lies of terrorists and their supporters, we will all continue to wander in the wilderness of an ongoing conflict.

Dear Colleagues,

The real obstacle to peace was – and is – the Palestinians’ inability to accept Israel’s existence in the region as the Jewish State.

We educate our children in coexistence and tolerance, while the Palestinians teach their children hatred and violence.

While they incite against Israel and the Jewish people – and while they promote boycotts and attack Israel in international bodies – on the ground, there are nonetheless positive steps being taken to increase cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

This Council heard from EcoPeace about the importance of environmental cooperation and how we need to work together to promote climate resilience and water security.

The past years have shown what we can do in our region when there is a will to succeed and build bridges.

The water-for-energy deal between Israel, Jordan and the UAE, shows how collaboration can solve the planet's greatest problems – and bring real cooperation.

Israel has proven time after time that it is committed to regional cooperation and to improving the lives of the Palestinians.

And one of the best ways to do so is indeed through environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources.

In fact, as Minister of Environmental Protection, I personally promoted many attempted initiatives to advance these exact issues.

Sadly, the Palestinian leadership had different priorities.

A number of months ago, Israel’s current Minister of Environmental Protection met with her Palestinian counterpart.

This was the first meeting of its kind since 2014.

Israel’s Minister presented numerous collaborative initiatives regarding the environment and waste management, but Israel is still waiting for a response from the Palestinians.

Harmony – this is what Israel wants. But hypocrisy and terror – this is what Israel gets.

Madam President,

The Palestinians are not alone in the Middle East when it comes to supporting terror and delegitimizing Israel.

At the beginning of my words, I expressed my condolences following the Houthi’s drone terror attack.

This was sponsored by Iran, as are most acts of terror carried out in the region.

What the Houthis have in common with Hezbollah and Hamas is that they are all terror proxies of the same malicious sponsor. The whole region continues to live under the shadow of the Iranian threat.

While the talks in Vienna reach a critical stage, the international community faces a crossroads.

If the Iranians are allowed to think the world does not seriously intend to stop them as they race towards the bomb, then they will continue to build a nuclear bomb.

If Iran is allowed to think, that it can continue to build a corridor of terror from Tehran to the Mediterranean, then that is what they will do.

If Iran is allowed to think that it can continue to oppress its own people and leave them in poverty while they spend every penny on their missile programs, then that is what they will do.

These are not just Israel’s problems. Iran, the biggest state-sponsor of terror, strives to impose its radical Shiite Hegemony on the region and beyond. This is not just a problem for Israel. This a problem for the whole world. And this problem should be the focus of this Council in 2022.

There are those who say that Iran has the opposite of Midas’ Touch – that everything it touches turns to terror and destruction rather than gold.

Just look at Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Yemen!

But unlike Midas’ touch, this is no myth.

Madam President,

Time is not on our side, but with good will and a strong desire, this too can become a page in history, and we can all go on to build a better future for the peoples of the Middle East.

This, Madam President, is the sincere New Year’s wish, for the State and people of Israel.