"Ignoring Palestinian accountability and supporting rejectionist policy toward direct negotiation is another example of overlooking the true spirit of the UN Charter when it comes to Israel."

Amb Roet addresses Security Council debate on the UN Charter


Copyright: UN Webcast

Mr. President,

Seventy years ago, when representatives of 50 nations met to establish the founding vision for the newly formed United Nations, they were not engaging in a merely academic exercise.

The principles and purposes of the UN Charter emerged from a painful confrontation with the horrors of the Second World War. Nations of the world understood that in order to achieve all the lofty principles outlined in the charter, the family of nations must stand firm in defense of the charter’s first principle, quote, "to maintain international peace and security and take effective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace."

Today, we confront a new reality which requires learning this lesson anew.

The principles and purposes of the Charter are only as strong and durable as the international will to uphold them.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

The primary challenge to the founding vision of the Charter is no longer that of conflict between states, but the explosion of violence and brutality in failing and failed states. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East.

In Syria, the civil war is approaching its fifth year, with little hope for an end to the madness. Yet, the international community continues to fail to respond effectively to the scale of the disaster. News of the siege and deliberate starvation of the 40 thousand residents of Madaya by Hezbollah and Assad forces only underscores the magnitude of the horrors, and the futility of the international response.

Of course, Syria is not alone. From Libya to Iraq and from Somalia to Yemen, insurgencies, and proxy wars and civil wars are transforming these countries into living nightmares for their inhabitants. In vast stretches of the Middle East, the promises of the UN Charter have become but a distant dream.

The numerous violent radical extremists who pose a major challenge to global peace and security, have filled in this vacuum of law and order by imposing their fanatical rule on growing numbers of people across the world. Terrorist groups such as Daesh, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Hamas and Hezbollah continue to make a mockery of the values and principles this institution was founded to uphold.

These fundamentalist groups represent a fundamental threat to the world of freedom and dignity envisioned in the Charter. Yet, this institution has failed to draw a clear line in the sand in defense of the principles of our founding document.

Like many other countries around the world, we in Israel live with the consequences of this failure on our own border. Hezbollah has amassed over one hundred thousand rockets ready to be fired at any Israeli cities. In fact, they have transformed numerous villages in southern Lebanon, into outposts of terror. This is the true face of Hezbollah – a brutal organization which deliberately targets Israeli civilians, and uses Lebanese civilians as human shields – a double war crime.

Instead of clear and unequivocal condemnations of the blatant violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, this Council has remained silent. Hezbollah’s utter disregard for the lives of the people of Israel, and the people of Lebanon, stands against every principle this institution stands for. If you are truly committed to uphold the principles of the Charter, silence is not an option.

Mr. President,

On our southern border, Hamas prepares for the next round of conflict. The terror group controlling Gaza continues to stockpile rockets and dig terror-tunnels to threaten Israeli towns in southern Israel and beyond. Yet, when Israel brought clear and indisputable evidence and facts of this intention, to the attention of the Security Council, the silence was deafening.

Even when Hamas operatives admitted – actually boasted – of their preparations for war, this Council could not bring itself to speak out against Hamas by name – not even a whisper of condemnation. Some in this chamber, Mr. President, seem eager to ignore Hamas’s iron-fisted grip on Gaza, and to explain away their ongoing campaign of terror against Israel.

Just two weeks ago, we reminded this chamber of the Council’s resolution against terrorism, which declares that "Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whosoever committed."

And yet, this Council has not lived up to this commitment when it comes to terror attacks against Israel. This willful disregard for the peace and security of the people of Israel undermines the credibility of this institution, and casts doubt on its fidelity to the principles of the Charter.

In order to achieve the worthy goals of peace and reconciliation, it is time to state the reality as it is: End the politicization, and stop singling out Israel.

Only this morning we witnessed here how two members of the Security Council, Venezuela and Malaysia, proved yet again that singling out my country and ignoring Palestinian terror – attacks has become a common practice. Ignoring terror when it is politically convenient only encourages more brutality and more bloodshed.

I call on this Council to condemn, by name, those who instigate violence and carry out terror attacks – whether it is ISIS or Hamas – and hold them accountable.

Mr. President,

Ignoring Palestinian accountability and supporting rejectionist policy toward direct negotiation is another example of overlooking the true spirit of the Charter when it comes to Israel.

Just this morning, in a striking rejection of relentless international efforts to broker peace negotiations, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said, and I quote: "We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations." This statement leaves no doubt with regards to Palestinians’ intentions and should be widely condemned.

Mr. President,

The commitment of this Council to the principles and purposes of the Charter will be measured by how it responds to threats to peace and security, and whether it responds to all such threats. At a time when cruel dictators engage in the mass murder of their own people, and fanatical groups spread their message of hatred and intolerance-by-the sword, a united stand against terror is needed – now more than ever.

Millions around the world look to us to defend their rights, and their very lives – and they are losing faith. We must do more to help them. For the sake of these men, women, and children, let us come together to meet these crucial challenge, and leave the next generation a legacy equal to the vision of the UN Charter.