Winston Churchill once said, "The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it … ignorance may deride it … malice may distort it … but there it is."
The Assad regime could use a healthy dose of Churchill’s wisdom today. No matter what Assad says, he can’t alter the horrific truth about the brutality that he and his morally bankrupt regime have unleashed and are unleashing on the Syrian people.
In the month since we last gathered here to speak about Syria, the Assad regime has slaughtered thousands more innocents, indiscriminately murdering civilians – including women and children – using the firepower of its artillery, armor, and even its air force.
The General Assembly is no stranger to distortions and absurdities. But over the course of several debates, the Syrian Representative has managed to take the art of fabrication in this hall to new heights. If lying was an Olympic event, I have no doubt that the Syrian regime and its representatives could easily win a gold medal.
Of course, it’s nothing new for Assad – and his representatives – to blame all of their country’s ills on Israel. But this time around they have broadened their horizons to a whole range of other nations. Behind every rock and building in Syria, Assad sees not only Israelis, Brits, and Frenchmen – but also Saudis, Qataris, Kuwaitis, and Turks. He says that the slaughter in Syria is a Western and Arab Conspiracy – and has nothing to do with him personally.
It is clear that the men, women and children of Syria are not the indiscriminate victims of a natural disaster. They are not the accidental casualties of a war. The civilians of Syria are the deliberate targets of a brutal regime and its evil allies, who will commit any crime to keep Bashar al-Assad in power.
On the ground, Iranians are assisting Assad’s henchmen. They have been deployed on Syrian soil to help sustain the Syrian regime and take part in its killing spree against the Syrian people. The outside forces that have been instrumental in the slaughter in Syria speak in a Persian accent. Unfortunately, many in the international community do not yet acknowledge this fact, despite the overwhelming evidence that supports it.
Yes, Mr. President,
While the Security Council remains paralyzed in New York, Assad’s Council of Terror continues to operate ruthlessly in Damascus. On Assad’s advisory board sit Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah, who offer him guidance on how to butcher the Syrian people more effectively.
Assad’s partners in this "trio of terror" are not shy about discussing their role in the slaughter. Last week, Nasrallah gave a speech praising the Assad regime, calling it "a real military partner." And just several days ago, Iran’s Vice President promised the Syrian Foreign Minister that Iran will continue to offer its "experience and capabilities" to Assad’s killing machine.
The experience and capabilities of Iran and Hezbollah in repression are on full display in Syria. They provide weapons, ammunition, training, intelligence, and logistical equipment to Assad. It is time for the international community to hold all three members of this "trio of terror" accountable for their crimes. This trio poses the most immediate threat to international peace and security.
The world can begin by calling Hezbollah exactly what it is: a group of global terrorists.
For those in this hall still looking for more evidence that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, I ask: what are you waiting for? The group has only been actively conducting terrorist attacks for three decades. They murdered 241 American servicemen and 58 French servicemen in 1983, blowing up their barracks in Beirut. They bombed the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994, killing 85. And last month, a Hezbollah suicide bomber murdered six Israeli tourists on a bus in Bulgaria.
What else does Hezbollah need to do for the world to understand that this is a terrorist organization? Today Hezbollah’s terrorist network extends from the cities of West Africa to the communities of South America to the villages of Lebanon and Syria. How many more innocents must fall victim to their terrorism before the world acts?
For years, Assad repeatedly denied that he held chemical weapons. Surprise, surprise…Last week we heard a new revelation from Syrian officials: Assad has chemical weapons – and his government is prepared to use them.
The world should wake up to this dangerous reality today, not tomorrow. We should not pretend that a regime that cuts the throats of children today will not be prepared to gas them tomorrow.
Assad must know that he will be held accountable for using these weapons. He must understand that transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist organizations is a red line that he cannot cross. The world’s most dangerous ophthalmologist should not be allowed to claim that he is colorblind. When it comes to chemical weapons this red line should be very, very clear.
The lies of Assad are an affront to the thousands of Syrian civilians who have been murdered. Unlike the members of Assad’s diplomatic service, these people have had no opportunity to apply for political asylum. Instead, the women and children of Syria are shot trying to seek refuge in neighboring countries.
Yet, his lies cannot hide one simple truth. Bashar al-Assad has no moral authority to govern. He has no legitimacy to rule. And he never did.
It is time for all in this organization to speak clearly, decisively, and truthfully about the reality on the ground in Syria. It doesn’t make a difference where you come from, what politics you preach, or what faith you belong to – no decent human being can stay silent in the face of what is happening in Syria.
And today, on behalf of the Israeli people and the Jewish people, I want to speak directly to the Syrian people. I know that our two nations have a long history of conflict – and are still separated by politics. Yet, Israel’s hand remains extended to the People of Syria. We continue to offer humanitarian aid, food, and medicine to you.
And I want to use this platform today to again express Israel’s hope for a brighter future for the Syrian people, along with all the other people of the Middle East – a future of freedom, prosperity, and tolerance; a future of liberty and justice; a future of peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.