Ambassador Erdan at the UN
Ambassador Erdan at the UNPress Release

The United Nations Security Council met on Wednesday evening to debate the threats from the Houthis against shipping in the Red Sea. Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan told Arutz Sheva - Israel National News that he expects to be asked to comment on the assassination of the deputy director of Hamas's political arm, Salah al-Aururi.

“In general, they know that Israel's policy is not to comment on claims of our involvement. We are blamed for nearly everything that happens in the world, good or bad, and if we begin to react to every incident, then the conclusion regarding incidents to which we do not react will be obvious," he stated.

“In the case of Salah al-Aururi specifically, with no connection or comment on who carried out the operation, he was a man responsible for the death of many civilians who had done no wrong, and the day after his death, the world is a better place then it was, with no doubt.”

The debate regarding the Houthis, he estimates, is a treatment of the symptom but not the problem. "The world needs to understand that the Houthis are a small problem - that is what Iran wants us to see. Iran, the great elephant in the room at every debate of the Security Council, prefers that we ignore the real problem. Hezbollah and Hamas are an army of terror, but the real problem for the entire Middle East is the insane aspirations of Iran to take over the entire Shiite hegemony by extremely advanced methods; it is working under the radar, funding and directing Hamas, the Houthis, Hezbollah, and equipping them with advanced military technologies, and specifically in the United Nations, it is considered a legitimate member despite explicitly calling to destroy Israel. This is a moral travesty.”

The Ambassador says: “I will focus on Iran's responsibility for the Houthis and the failures and inaction of the United Nations, in all of its bodies, to stop the terrorist activity and terrible things that Iran perpetrates, not only against us but against other countries in the region and against its own citizens.”

He believes that his activities, along with those of others, have brought significant public diplomacy achievements in the war against Hamas. “The results are that we are 90 days into the war following the October 7th massacre, and we have not yet been told to hit the brakes despite many people threatening us. There are claims by many parties, including in Israel and in world Judaism and supporters of Israel. We are working in a variety of creative ways to clarify who the enemy we are fighting really is, and in the meantime, the legitimacy of the continued war against Hamas and the attempt to recover the hostages continues."

Erdan admits that he had not expected the degree of participation received from American Jews in the public diplomacy effort. “This is the first time I have seen such participation from the American Jewish community, which sees public diplomacy and joins it. They are also horrified by the hatred they experience in their own communities and see anti-Israeli sentiment as antisemitism in a new form. They experience it in their children on campuses. I have called on them time after time not to donate to these universities and to boycott them and not content themselves with condemnation only.”
This effort has also brought results, he claims. “We see that two of three University presidents who were uncertain in Congress as to whether or not calls for genocide against Jews are against their University code have resigned. This is an important result that sends a message against agreeing with antisemitism.”

One of the most painful subjects for Erdan that he believes the UN is not doing enough to achieve has been securing the release of hostages from Hamas in Gaza. “The first event with the families of the hostages was held here in the United Nations. Since then, we have held many meetings with the families of the hostages, sometimes with ambassadors from other countries of which the hostages are also citizens.”

“We have held many events to raise awareness throughout New York, and I must say that the community here, including Israelis who live here, have joined in. They demonstrate every Friday in front of the house of the Secretary General of the United Nations. I have arranged a meeting between the families of the hostages and the Secretary General, but that is not enough.”

The reason for that, he believes, is the improper conduct of the United Nations. “The embarrassment of the Red Cross and the Secretary General of the United Nations stems from the fact that they are not beginning each day here with a message to the world and the residents of Gaza that their suffering is first and foremost because of Hamas, who leads them, holds hostages in dark tunnels, and does not even allow the Red Cross to access them. The Red Cross continues to speak only about our responsibility for the humanitarian situation. This crime, to which the United Nations is party, of silence and failures, is something we try to bring up every day.”

Recently, he has had to contend with the claims of settler violence that are, presumably, directly and closely linked to the United Nations.

“There is a disgusting agency in the United Nations called OCHA oPt, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory. I have been fighting them for more than two and a half years and have displayed at nearly every Security Council meeting their lies about statistics. It counts extremist actions in Judea and Samaria and ignores Palestinian terrorism, including thousands of attacks against Israeli cars in Judea and Samaria with rocks and firebombs. I have worked with the Foreign Ministry to prevent entry visas and entry to Israel for the organization's personnel. We will increase the pace over the next few weeks, and the situation needs to expand to complete expulsion of the agency from Israel as part of the lessons we will learn regarding the UN and its agents after the war.”

He has particular criticism for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA. “The UNRWA has allowed the teaching of incitement in schools and Gaza and has not closed educational institutions under which Hamas dug tunnels. Their silence and deliberate ignorance towards the murder and terror machine in Gaza brings one to the conclusion that the United Nations has significant responsibility, comparable to that of Hamas itself, for what is happening in Gaza, and we need to make the United Nations pay the day after the war in a variety of ways.”

He also explains what he means: “All activities of the United Nations in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority to bring aid to the Palestinians cannot happen without Israeli consent. As soon as we map out who the UN workers are who are exploiting their stay in Israel for illicit reasons, to spread lies among the Security Council and General Assembly, who the UN workers are who tweet against us or meet with the Iranian Foreign Minister without even condemning him, while they condemn Israel every day, we will declare that these individuals should not be allowed to enter Israel. When we finish the war, defeat Hamas, and recover the hostages, the next stage will be reevaluating our relations with the United Nations.”