Israeli foreign minister challenges UN secretary-general: ‘In what world do you live?’
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen pushed back on comments by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Tuesday, asking "In what world do you live?"
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations is ripping the “horrible views” that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres expressed at a meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday and is calling for his resignation.
Ambassador Gilad Erdan described Guterres’ remarks as “shocking” for stating that the Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel by Hamas “did not happen in a vacuum” and that the “Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
“The shocking speech by the @UN Secretary-General at the Security Council meeting, while rockets are being fired at all of Israel, proved conclusively, beyond any doubt, that the Secretary-General is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” Erdan posted on X.
“His statement that, ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder. It’s really unfathomabale [sic]. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views. A tragedy!”
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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters on Tuesday. (AP/Seth Wenig)
Erdan then demanded that Guterres resign, the first time an Israeli ambassador has called for a sitting UN secretary-general to step down, an Israeli official confirmed to Fox News Digital.
“The @UN Secretary-General, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the UN,” he wrote in a follow-up post. “I call on him to resign immediately. There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people. There are simply no words.”
During his speech, Guterres said the “situation in the Middle East is growing more dire by the hour” and that the “war in Gaza is raging and risks spiraling throughout the region,” according to a transcript.
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United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, talk with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres before a Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday. (AP/Seth Wenig)
“I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel,” Guterres continued. “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”
Yet Guterres also said “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.
“The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing,” said the secretary general.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan addresses members of the U.N. Security Council at the United Nations headquarters on Monday. (AP/Craig Ruttle)
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“But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” he added.
Responding to Guterres at the UN, Israeli
Fox News’ Ben Evansky contributed to this report.
Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.