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UN Sec-Gen Guterres must resign immediately for trying to justify Hamas slaughter of 1,400 Israelis, foreign nationals

His remarks were reprehensible and inexcusable

(Photos courtesy of the UN)

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres crossed a moral red line this week. 

Having made reprehensible and inexcusable statements – on purpose, on the record, in prepared formal remarks before the UN – he can no longer stay in his position. 

He must resign immediately, or be removed and replaced by someone who has a true moral compass. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Guterres began his remarks to the international body by saying the exact right things – only to completely reverse course and undermine every good thing he’d said a few moments later.

Here is what he said that was right, true and helpful:

"Excellencies The situation in the Middle East is growing more dire by the hour. The war in Gaza is raging and risks spiraling throughout the region. Divisions are splintering societies. Tensions threaten to boil over.

At a crucial moment like this, it is vital to be clear on principles starting with the fundamental principle of respecting and protecting civilians.

I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel.

Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.

All hostages must be treated humanely and released immediately and without conditions." 

He should have stopped there.

Instead, Guterres actually began trying to justify the savage and barbaric Hamas slaughter of more than 1,400 – in which Israeli men, women, children and babies were shot to death en masse, burned alive, raped, beheaded and butchered like cattle.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum," Guterres said, arguing that Palestinians in Gaza have been subjected to "56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Let’s stop there for a moment. 

Hadn’t Guterres just “condemned unequivocally” the “acts of terror by Hamas in Israel” on Oct. 7? 

Why, then, was he suddenly equivocating? 

To equivocate, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “to avoid committing oneself in what one says.”

It also means “to use equivocal language, especially with intent to deceive.”

If Guterres truly meant to condemn the evil that Hamas did to Israelis, then he never would have wanted – much less tried – to justify or explain away those wicked acts.

But Guterres was not willing to offer a straight, firm and forceful condemnation of Hamas.

Instead, something in him felt compelled to suggest that innocent Israeli civilians actually had it coming to them.

And Hamas actually had legitimate and understandable reasons for perpetrating such sick and diabolical atrocities upon Israeli Jews.

There is something else reprehensible about Guterres’ statement.

It is not factually true. 

Palestinians in Gaza have not – repeat: not – been subjected to "56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Nearly 20 years ago – in August 2005 – the Israeli government pulled all of our soldiers and civilians out of the Gaza Strip.

Thus, the people of Gaza have had almost two decades to turn their beachfront property on the shores of the glistening Mediterranean – and their massive reserves of natural gas just offshore – into a Palestinian Paradise.

Yet, rather than build such a paradise, Hamas has used their newfound freedom to create an absolute hellhole. 

Why didn’t Guterres say that?

Why did he blame Israel who did what the world asked – withdrew from Gaza – rather than blame Hamas?

Making it even worse, Guterres claimed that Palestinians in Gaza “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.”

Literally, none of that statement is true. 

Israel’s military would never have needed to attack the newly free people of Gaza in 2005 to this day if Hamas wasn’t using the Strip as a launching pad for tens of thousands of rockets and other types of terror attacks. 

But Guterres didn’t even stop there.

He went on to condemn – without equivocation – Israel for committing war crimes.

“The relentless bombardment of Gaza by Israeli forces, the level of civilian casualties, and the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods continue to mount and are deeply alarming,” he insisted, adding that, “I am deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the UN, immediately and rightly demanded Guterres to resign. 

"The U.N. is failing, and you, Mr. Secretary-General, have lost all morality and impartiality,” Erdan said.

“Because when you say those terrible words that these heinous attacks did not happen in a vacuum, you are tolerating terrorism.”

Israel is the victim of genocidal acts and other truly unspeakable war crimes unseen on this scale since the days of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. 

Since the UN secretary-general cannot or will not clearly denounce such real war crimes by Hamas – and rather robustly defend Israel’s legal right and moral responsibility to defend its citizens – Guterres must go.

And go immediately. 

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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