NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress on Sunday criticized the United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials for failing to recognize Israel’s right to self-defense under the UN Charter against armed attacks against its territory and population. “It is once again troubling and shameful to see how the UN and many other governments are failing to grasp the fact that Israel is responding to an armed aggression launched against its territory by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder in response to Saturday’s Security Council statement and comments by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay which questioned the legality of Israel’s action in the Gaza Strip and suggested that Israel was deliberately killing civilians in Gaza.
Lauder welcomed the Canadian government’s rejection of Pillay’s comments, which Foreign Minister John Baird had said was an “uncalled-for criticism of Israel”. The WJC president declared: “Canada has once again proven to be a real friend and one of the Jewish state's closest allies. To put Hamas – a recognized terror organization – and the State of Israel on the same level and then to blame Israel for causing the death of civilians that Hamas deliberately uses as human shields is a way of saying that Hamas’ actions are justified.
“Contrary to what Mrs. Pillay claims, the Israel military is taken extraordinary steps to prevent civilian casualties whereas Hamas is cynically seeking as many civilian casualties as possible. It is time for the UN and its leading officials to show some moral backbone, to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, and to hold Israel to the same standards than any other country battling this sort of existential threat,” he added.
A few days ago, Lauder wrote a letter to UN ambassadors, EU foreign ministers, and others, telling them: “If it were your cities under attack, we know you would agree that a sovereign government has a duty to defend its citizens.”
The WJC president also criticized the UN Security Council statement on the conflict, saying: “Once again, the council failed to name the cause of this conflict, or to condemn Hamas’ actions. The UN, instead of defending the values on which the organization was founded seven decades ago, continues to blame Israel for everything and is silent on terror groups such as Hamas.”
World Jewish Congress brings solidarity mission to Israel
Ronald Lauder will be leading a solidarity mission comprised of several dozen international Jewish community heads to Israel later this week to meet with senior Israeli officials, lawmakers and representatives of the military. The delegation is also planning to visit areas that have come under Hamas missile fire.
“The World Jewish Congress stands side-by-side with the people of Israel in this trying time, which we will show by registering our concern in person through this mission. World Jewry will come out in force to show the nations that Israel is in the right, and that it is not alone,” Lauder declared. He said that the feedback from Jewish communities so far had been very positive.