Israelis Outraged by UN Chief’s Remarks on Hamas Massacre

Oct 24, 2023 7:46 pm | Ticker, Virtual Jerusalem

Israeli officials responded furiously to comments of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regarding the Hamas massacre of civilians on October 7. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, speaking at the UN, played a distressing recording during a UN Security Council meeting, capturing a Hamas militant boasting to his family about murdering Jews to his proud mother.

Guterres, in his address to the Security Council, had stated that the October 7 Hamas attack “did not occur in a vacuum,” attributing the violence to the long-standing “suffocating occupation” faced by Palestinians for 56 years. The Secretary-General also expressed deep concern about the “clear violations of international humanitarian law” in Gaza.

The Israeli delegation, already on edge due to the continuous security threats, found Guterres’ remarks to be a gross understatement and rationalization of the ongoing terrorism perpetuated by Hamas. Cohen’s dramatic move, playing the recording of a call wherein the terrorist rejoiced in taking Jewish lives, intensified the atmosphere in the chamber. According to sources, the audio was part of evidence shared by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a briefing on Hamas’ atrocities.

Cohen denounced UN chief Antonio Guterres over his criticism of Israel’s Gaza campaign, recounting graphic details of Hamas attacks on civilians, and naming children kidnapped by the terror group.

“Mr. Secretary General, in what world do you live?” Cohen told Guterres in English at a special Security Council session on the crisis. “Definitely this is not our world.”

In the recording, the terrorist murderer, using a phone belonging to one of his victims, claimed responsibility for the deaths of 10 Jews, declaring his actions heroic.

Cohen, signaling a breakdown in diplomatic relations, announced on Twitter that he had canceled a scheduled meeting with Guterres. His post emphasized that after the traumatic events of October 7, a balanced approach was no longer viable, reflecting a hardening stance against any perception of equivocation on terror by international figures.

Back in Israel, Defense Minister Benny Gantz also joined the chorus of criticism against the UN Chief’s comments. He echoed the sentiment of many Israeli citizens and officials who believe that such statements by international leaders contribute to a narrative that seemingly justifies or downplays terrorist activities.

This incident at the UN Security Council highlights the growing frustration among Israeli officials over what they perceive as the international community’s failure to unequivocally condemn acts of terrorism against their citizens. It also signals potential challenges ahead for diplomatic relations if balancing viewpoints are seen as a form of tacit complicity with Israel’s aggressors.