“Some of you have learned nothing in the past 80 years. Some of you have forgotten why this body was established,” envoy Gilad Erdan said, as he denounced the Security Council for “staying silent” over the unprecedented deadly attacks by Hamas Palestinian militants against Israel on October 7.
The deeply divided 15-member council has not adopted a single resolution on the three-week-long war between Israel and Hamas.
“So, I will remind you. From this day on, each time you look at me you will remember what staying silent in the face of evil means,” the ambassador said.
“Just like my grandparents, and the grandparents of millions of Jews, from now on my team and I will wear yellow stars,” he said, standing up to affix one on the breast of his suit inscribed with the words “Never Again,” in reference to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis.
But Erdan will wear it “as a symbol of pride,” he said.
“We will wear this star until you wake up and condemn the atrocities of Hamas.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the October 7 attacks the worst against the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
For weeks the Security Council has been riven by divisions over the war and its impact, rejecting four draft resolutions about the conflict.
Some texts were blocked by the United States, a close Israel ally, because they did not mention Israel’s right to defend itself.
Another presented by the Americans was stymied by Russia and China in particular because it did not clearly call for a ceasefire.
In light of the impasse, the UN General Assembly last Friday adopted by a large majority a nonbinding resolution requesting an “immediate humanitarian truce,” but not mentioning Hamas.
Israel, through Erdan, blasted the text, saying it will “go down as infamy.”
During Monday’s Security Council meeting, several speakers, while denouncing the Hamas attacks, highlighted the price paid by inhabitants of Gaza, where health officials say more than 8,300 people have been killed in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.
Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, said the siege of Gaza amounts to collective punishment of its residents.