Antonio Guterres
Antonio GuterresReuters

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) on Friday decried United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres’ assertion that Israel deployed “excessive force” to root out the terrorist infrastructure in Jenin last week.

“Excessive force? Really? What would Portugal or Belgium or UK do? All 12 Palestinians killed in Jenin were armed terrorists. IEDs hidden under [a] mosque. Jews in neighboring communities shot, rammed, and stabbed to death,” declared Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action at the SWC.

“There‘s a role for Secretary-General, UNWRA, UNHCRC, UNICEF: Stop the double standard; stop demonizing Israel; stop giving a moral blank check to Palestinians to kill Jews; stop PA pay to slay Jews; stop weaponizing Palestinian youth, stop the brainwashing of Palestinian children; make UNWRA schools acknowledge the legitimacy of their Israeli neighbors. Stop rewarding terrorism and start investing in real peace and reconciliation because right now there is no viable Palestinian partner for negotiations that could lead to a peaceful two-state solution,” Rabbi Cooper added.

Earlier this week, Guterres told reporters during a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York City that, “There was an excessive force used by Israeli forces.” Israel has “legitimate concerns over its security,” he said, adding: “But escalation is not the answer. It simply bolsters radicalization and leads to a deepening cycle of violence and bloodshed.”

“Restoring the hope of the Palestinian people in a meaningful political process, leading to a two-State solution and the end of the occupation, is an essential contribution by Israel to its own security,” Guterres added.