GENEVA, March 18, 2019 – Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, today addressed the Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations— see quotes below.
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- This Council invites representatives of non-democratic regimes, of countries, which are odious abusers of Human Rights, and of anti-Semitic NGOs to spread lies and false narratives; to openly incite against the only democracy in the Middle East.
- Hamas has its hand on the dimmer switch. When it suits their political interests, they raise the intensity and scope of these violent demonstrations. When they are having negotiations with international actors, when they receive Qatar’s cash money or deal with the PA that is calling them militias, they keep the demonstrations away from the fence.
- When you read the Commission of Inquiry report, you understand they got it wrong on the facts, got it wrong in assessing how the IDF acted, got it wrong on the law and got it wrong on understanding our legal system.
Full remarks, as delivered:
Shalom, Thank you Hillel, Thank you UN Watch.
Dear friends, All distinguished guests that are here with us, Welcome to Geneva!
Thank you to the people from Switzerland, and to all those who have traveled from across Europe to show their support for Israel and to say, “Enough is enough” with the UN bias against Israel.
Your presence demonstrates that we can and we must no longer tolerate double standards.
While we are gathering here to promote Human Rights, over there the UN is harming Human Rights. In fact, the Human Rights Council is undermining the very cause of Human Rights. It is an institution where cynicism and hypocrisy prevail.
While Antisemitism is raising its ugly head all over the world, this place is legitimizing discrimination against the one and only Jewish State, the State of Israel.
While we are gathering here today, the infamous item 7 is underway. At this very moment, the Council is again turning into an outspoken hostile arena against Israel and the Jewish people.
This Council invites representatives of non-democratic regimes, of countries, which are odious abusers of Human Rights, and of anti-Semitic NGOs to spread lies and false narratives; to openly incite against the only democracy in the Middle East.
The Human Rights Council, which is supposed to promote Human Rights, is further losing its credibility. Instead of being a multilateral forum to promote prospects of peace and understanding, it is legitimizing those, who actively destroy this goal.
Over this past weekend, two rockets were launched by the Hamas terror organization to Tel Aviv. Yesterday, a 19 year old IDF soldier was stabbed to death, a father of 12 and another soldier were severely injured by a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank.
But this Council does not want to acknowledge, nor be confused with the facts.
Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in the summer of 2005, giving another chance for Palestinians to peacefully co-exist with Israel. Yet, never missing an opportunity, the Hamas terror organization violently took over and turned Gaza into a hostile territory, where a thriving terror industry has developed, launching rockets and digging attack tunnels into Israel. 15 such terror tunnels were discovered by the IDF.
Over the last year, Hamas has been orchestrating violent demonstrations along the border fence with Israel, using its own civilians, including women and children, as human shields and human weapons against Israel.
Hamas has its hand on the dimmer-switch. When it suits their political interests, they raise the intensity and scope of these violent demonstrations. When they are having negotiations with international actors, when they receive Qatar’s cash money or deal with the PA that is calling them militias, they keep the demonstrations away from the fence.
For the last several days, violent clashes erupted in Gaza, as thousands took to the streets protesting against the Hamas and the cost of living. Hamas authorities targeted their own people as well and had imposed a blanket ban on media coverage, despite graphic reports of violence against the protesters, hitting them with batons and using live fire against them.
And so, last Friday, there were no demonstrations along the border fence.
The Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza border fence events – the COI – that was established by the council on Human Rights ignores all these facts.
The COI ignores the violence, the military involvement and Hamas’s control.
When you read their report, you understand they got it entirely wrong.
Got it wrong on the facts, got it wrong in assessing how the IDF acted, got it wrong on the law and got it wrong on understanding our legal system.
Since last March, about half a million demonstrators took part in these orchestrated demonstrations, serving as a guise for Hamas militants to try and penetrate the fence and storm into Israel, threatening the lives of Israelis, beginning with the 70,000 residents who live in immediate proximity to the fence.
The riots are part of ongoing hostilities against Israel, which included 1300 rockets fired by Hamas during the same period of the COI Inquiry.
But the COI chose to ignore the potential threat to the lives and safety of Israeli residents if a Palestinian mob were to infiltrate these civilian communities.
They described the demonstrations as peaceful, as a gathering for poetry readings, for folk dancing, for lectures.
Today, under item 7, this Commission of Inquiry falsely accuses Israeli soldiers of “crimes against humanity” and calls for their arrest-for defending Israelis from Hamas terrorists.
Is this merely incompetence to understand what has been going on near the fence, or a one sided, biased and anti-Israeli attitude from the very beginning?
Hamas congratulated the COI members for their work and adopted their recommendations… Do I need to add any other word to this theatre of the absurd?
DEAR FRIENDS OF ISRAEL,
Israel is soon to celebrate its 71st anniversary, seventy years of achievements, against all odds. We have established our country, a beacon of democracy, of innovation and pluralism. Israel is sharing its know-how to developing countries, offering humanitarian assistance wherever necessary. We are always ready to extend our hand for Peace and to expand our diplomatic relations with sincere partners.
At the very same time, we reiterate the need to guarantee security for Israel.
We live in a region where Iran – a state sponsoring terrorism that wants to become nuclear – is publically declaring its aim, to destroy the State of Israel.
Hezballah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon, is pushing an Iranian agenda to turn southern Lebanon into a base for attacks against Israeli citizens. The tunnels built by Hezballah and funded by Iran with its ongoing efforts to expand its military build-up, further destabilize the already volatile region.
Israel will continue to exercise its right to self-defense.
We will continue to offer the olive branch. We will be holding to our Defense Forces, our sons and daughters who protect our lives and ensure our ongoing miracle of Israel.
In a few days, the Jewish people and the children of Israel will celebrate the biblical holiday of Purim, to commemorate the bravery of Jewish Queen Esther to thwart Haman’s scheme of a genocide of her people.
The Iranian regime is the Haman of today and the State of Israel is the guarantee against all Hamans and anti-Semites.
From Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, and here today- I say:
AM ISRAEL CHAI
THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL SHALL FURTHER THRIVE!
Above our heads, far in space, the lunar spacecraft Beresheet-Genesis is carrying our Bible and the flag of Israel to the moon.
Our 70-year-old country is the 4th among all nations to launch a spacecraft to the moon.
So let me end my words by those of the beautiful Israeli song Haleluyah, that tells us to wake up every morning with a new song in our hearts as if we are just starting from Beresheet.
Thank you all.