A group of 36 left-wing rabbis and rabbinical students from anti-Israel organizations staged a protest inside the United Nations yesterday (Tuesday) against the US government's use of its veto against Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.
The Rabbis 4 Ceasefire, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, and IfNotNow organizations organized the protest.
Protestors entered the Security Council as part of a guided tour, the Huffington Post reported. They held up signs and banners demanding a ceasefire in violation of UN regulations. They sang the Hebrew song 'Lo Yissa Goy el Goy Herev' (national shall not lift up sword against nation), a quote from the Jewish Prophet Isiah about the peace humanity will know in messianic times.
While members of the public are permitted to enter the Security Council chamber as part of a tour, they are not permitted to hold a demonstration there or even make statements. Ordinarily, such conduct would result in violators being immediately ejected by security. This time, the protesters were permitted to stage their protest without interruption from security.
Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, praised thee protestors despite their violations of the UN's rules.
In response to a reporter's question on the incident, Dujarric said: "They were a very nice group of about 49 people. I think about 40 of them sat in the visitors’ gallery in the Security Council, but there was no meeting going on. About nine of them were in the General Assembly on the top of the balcony. They came in as part of tour groups. They were calling for a ceasefire. They were asked to leave. Everything was done, I think, with an extreme level of cooperation and politeness. And they wanted to be heard. And I think they were heard. We took down their information. And their only message was for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which is frankly what we’ve all been calling for here, as well."
Professor Anne Bayefsky, Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and President of Human Rights Voices, told Arutz Sheva - Israel National News that the protestors were allowed to "defile" the Security Council chamber by a permissive UN and security.
"It is an unprecedented defilement of the UN's most sacred chamber - the Security Council - and a stunning exposure of the reality of UN mob rule. While subsequent claims allege that this was just a UN public tour escapade, the truth is that on video one sees the direct involvement of UN security officers - acting on behalf of the anti-Israel gang! They are enabling the event, allowing it to continue, and removing uninvolved onlookers from the chamber. The tour guides were also in the room and evidently not demanding UN security take immediate action to restore tour protocol," Prof. Bayefsky said.
She noted that "the UN Security Council has never condemned Hamas for their October 7th atrocities, but a group of BDS extremists calling to disarm Israelis and deny the Jewish state their UN Charter right of self-defense is facilitated by UN authorities. UN officials gave them tickets into the building, and permitted their banners and placards to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Secretary-General Guterres needs to resign over this discriminatory assault on UN rules and procedures."
"Furthermore, the Huffington Post planted a reporter on the inside with the radicals to co-produce the anti-Israel media frenzy. So their reporter knew in advance of the rule breakers' plans, told nobody and deliberately became part of the story. Huffington Post's UN press credentials need to be removed immediately," she concluded.
The protest was also condemned by the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce and The Rabbinical Alliance of America, which said in a joint statement: "The protests, organized by groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Rabbis for Ceasefire, were attended by 36 individuals who claim to be Rabbis. However, the Orthodox Jewish community has been quick to point out that these individuals do not meet the criteria to be recognized as Rabbis within the Orthodox tradition. The title of Rabbi is reserved for those who have undergone rigorous Talmudic study and have been sanctioned by Chief Rabbis, and it is clear that these individuals do not meet these qualifications."
The organizations' leaders "condemned these groups for advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza, which they believe would only endanger more Jewish lives. They have accused these individuals of having the audacity to claim that Jewish blood is cheap and calling for America to withdraw its support for Israel’s right to self-defense. By giving in to the demands of Hamas, these individuals are putting Jewish lives at risk and are not representative of the true Jewish community."