“As we sit here debating legal disputes and false allegations, the clouds of unrest, violence, and war cast long shadows across the world.”
As Russian forces further tightened the noose around Ukraine’s borders on Wednesday, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN exasperatedly questioned the world body’s priorities as it held an open debate on the Middle East with a focus on alleged Israeli offenses.
“As we sit here debating legal disputes and false allegations, the clouds of unrest, violence, and war cast long shadows across the world,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, told delegates meeting at the Security Council. “One might wonder what the urgency was to turn a closed monthly debate into an open one while such critical matters to global security are being discussed in the General Assembly as we speak.”
Erdan added that since the Middle East was the topic of conversation, attention needed to be focused on the Iranian regime, which he described as “the real threat to the region” and “the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror.”
Erdan scorned the ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the technical name for the 2015 nuclear agreement reached between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers including Russia.
“The predicted outcome of the current negotiations in Vienna will, unfortunately, lead to an agreement that will create a far more volatile and violent Middle East,” the Israeli envoy asserted. “As a result of the quickly approaching sunset clauses included in the JCPOA, a renewed Iran deal will permit the Ayatollahs to develop and operate the most advanced centrifuges, while shrinking the breakout time of a nuclear Iran to almost zero.”
Erdan pledged that “while the world — including this council — continues to turn a blind eye to Iran’s destructive and dangerous aspirations, the State of Israel will not hesitate to act as is required.”
Erdan also paid tribute to Ido Avigal, a five-year-old Israeli boy who lost his life as the result of a Hamas rocket attack on his home city of Sderot during the war last May between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist organization. Ido would have celebrated his sixth birthday on Wednesday, Erdan noted, declaring: “Shamefully when Israeli children fall victim to terror, the silence of this council is deafening.”
Israel’s foreign ministry spoke out separately on the Ukraine crisis on Wednesday, issuing a cautious statement that expressed concern over Russia’s recognition of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk without mentioning either Russia or President Vladimir Putin by name.
“Israel shares the concern of the international community regarding the steps taken in eastern Ukraine and the serious escalation in the situation,” the Foreign Ministry stated. “Israel hopes for a diplomatic solution which will lead to calm, and is willing to help if asked.”
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