MK Ohad Tal
MK Ohad TalArutz Sheva

MK Ohad Tal is an Israeli legislator representing the Religious Zionist party and a former director of World Bnei Akiva

The whole world is starting to make good on their Jewish New Year resolutions at this time of year. I agree with PM Netanyahu that António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, should be making a few New Year resolutions of his own.

The United Nations does have its virtues. It played a pivotal role in the re-instatement of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel by irrevocably recognizing, in the UN’s very own founding charter, the Jewish people’s indigenous right to the Land of Israel (including Judea-Samaria). And as good neighbors in the Middle East, Israel is delighted that the United Nations did just as much and more, for the ancient Arab nation whose 20-odd spacious states are also members of the UN.

But today, the UN’s approach to the only Jewish state in the world is embarrassingly hostile. This was acknowledged a decade ago by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but the problem continues.

Secretary-General Guterres has personally issued twenty-six (!) reports criticizing and de-legitimizing Israel. The most recent was issued just a few months ago. These reports criticize Israel for an ordinary life activity - “advancing housing plans” - which all governments in the world engage in, of course. Criticizing normal life activities of and for the Jewish people is simply discriminatory. No-one levels such criticism on any other nation which is building homes for a budding population.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General Antonio GuterresUnited Nations

Over and over again, the United Nations’ secretary-general decries the only Jewish state in the world for alleged discrimination against the Arab nation. He disregards that an entire Arab state, Jordan, larger than Israel, has already been carved out of the land recognized as the Jewish homeland. Moreover, uncensured by Guterres, this Arab state openly practices discriminatory land practices against Jews -- by limiting land rights of those who are not “Jordanian nationals” - and by limiting “Jordanian nationals” to “any person not being Jewish”.

An official website of the United Nations (Unrwa.org) openly states this.

Even worse are public statements oozing out of the United Nations which describe an entire category of Israeli towns, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews live, as an alleged “flagrant violation” of law. This actively encourages people across the globe to believe that the only Jewish state in the world is committing terrible crimes in broad daylight on an ongoing basis. Indeed, a Resolution with this wording was adopted several years ago by the UN Security Council. Its alleged justification relied upon a legal opinion whose own author tactfully called it “controversial”. The legal opinion has long ago been discredited - but the baseless denouncement of Israel as a shady member of the family of nations continues to be disseminated, and for what? For building homes.

I think Mr. Guterres would be shocked to learn that terrorist organizations in the Mideast routinely boast that their barbaric attacks against Israeli civilians are justified -- in view of “crimes” (sic) committed by Israel. They say their terrorism is a “natural response” to these “crimes”.

A shockingly long list of Jews who have been killed this way, including children and infants, appears on my social media accounts, accessible to all. I’ve published this because given this information, continued dissemination of "illegality" rhetoric against Israel becomes truly irresponsible.

ילדי משפחת פלאי
ילדי משפחת פלאיצילום: באדיבות המשפחה

Photo: Yaakov and Asher Palay, Hy"d, murdered by a Palestinian Arab terrorist while standing at a bus stop, February 2023.

Israel does not commit crimes in broad daylight. Israel is a sovereign state whose settlement policy is, for purely political reasons, controversial, even though Israel relies on supportive approaches of experts on international law.

The United Nations under Mr. Guterres cannot continue denouncing Israel, frequently and one-sidedly, in full knowledge that murderers of civilians are jumping on his bandwagon and using his messaging as a tailwind to “explain” why it is “natural” (?) to slaughter 6- and 8-year old Jewish children.

It is true that the continued existence of a UN Security Council Resolution which mandates this continual representation of Israel as a criminal in the community of nations, ostensibly requires Guterres to act as he does. However, if Guterres were to express his reluctance to continue engaging in this behavior, the diplomatic community would speedily find a wise solution. Any such reluctance has yet to have been expressed by Mr. Guterres- which is where New Year’s Resolutions come in.

I write this letter in a spirit of optimism. In the words of Anne Frank, “I believe that people are really good at heart”. Dear Mr. Secretary-General, I believe that as soon as you become aware of the long list I have published, of innocent civilians explicitly slaughtered in the name of trumped-up accusations (generated in your organization!) about Israel committing “crimes”, you will stand up and refuse to preside over these barbaric semi-annual Israel-criminalization rituals any longer.

You will insist that the infamous 2016 edict which forces you to do so, known as “UNSC Resolution 2234” must be repealed. When you do - “od ha’shana” (this very year), please G-d – I will be the first among a great many who will stand up to congratulate you on your courage and moral fiber.