NewsConfusion in the UN. Israel wants Guterres to step down

Confusion in the UN. Israel wants Guterres to step down

Confusion in the UN. Israel wants Guterres to step down
Images source: © GETTY | Pacific Press

2:42 PM EDT, October 25, 2023

The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, is demanding the resignation of the organization's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He called his speech about the war in Gaza "shocking". - It's sad that a person with such views is the head of an organization that was founded just after the Holocaust - he said.

Erdana was upset by the speech that Guterres gave on Tuesday, opening a UN Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, in which he strongly criticized Israel.

He immediately described the words of the UN Secretary-General as "shocking," "terrible," and "completely detached from the realities of the region".

- In his comment, he justified terrorism and murders. It's sad that a person with such views is the head of an organization that was established after the Holocaust - Erdan stated.

Furthermore, in a post on the X service, he demanded Guterres' immediate resignation from his position.

"The UN Secretary-General, who shows understanding for a campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly (referring to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 - ed.), is not fit to lead the UN. I call for his immediate resignation. There is no need or reason to talk to those who show understanding of the most horrific atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people. Words just fail us" - we read in Erdan's post.

Words that infuriated Erdan

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his opening speech for the Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, criticized Israel's actions, accusing it of violating international law through extensive bombing and cutting off the Gaza Strip from life-supporting supplies, as well as condemning Hamas' strategy of using civilians as "human shields".

- Even war has its rules. The protection of civilians cannot mean using them as human shields. It also doesn't mean ordering the evacuation of over a million civilians to the south, where there is no shelter, no food, no medicine, and no fuel, only to then bomb the south anyway - said Guterres.

As he pointed out, the conflict clearly involves the violation of international law, and as a result of the bombing of the Gaza Strip, at least 35 workers of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have already been killed.

Guterres warned that the UN will soon run out of supplies, and the 20 trucks that have been allowed in so far with humanitarian aid from Egypt are a drop in the ocean of needs. The Portuguese reiterated his previous appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be able to provide necessary assistance.

"The attack did not happen in a vacuum"

The part of the secretary general of the UN's speech that most irritated the Israeli diplomat was when he condemned Hamas attacks on Israel, but also noted that "they didn't occur in a vacuum".

- Palestinians have been subjected to crushing occupation for 56 years. They see how their lands are gradually devoured by settlers, their economy stifled, their residents evicted, and their homes demolished - he listed, emphasizing at the same time that this does not justify the acts of terrorists.

Guterres's speech started Tuesday's Council debate with the participation of the heads of diplomacy of some countries, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and foreign ministers of Israel and Palestine. In the debate, along with representatives from over 80 countries, the deputy head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wojciech Gerwel, will also speak.

Related content