At Yad Vashem, UN Chief Vows to Fight Antisemitism ‘in All Its Expressions’
Amid his first visit to Israel since taking office at the start of this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stopped on Monday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, where he pledged to “do everything possible to fight antisemitism in all its expressions.”
“Antisemitism — my own country also lived it and I would recall the most tragic moment of them all with the expulsion of the Jews in the beginning of the 16th century,” the Portuguese national said. “I believe that the horror of the Holocaust should be such that antisemitism should now be dead forever but, unfortunately, we see it alive and well.”
Later on Monday, Guterres met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in the Israeli capital.
“I understand the security concerns of Israel, and I repeat that the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the State of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective,” Guterres stated.
Netanyahu told Guterres, “I think the time has come to restore moral clarity at the UN. I know that this is a tremendous task. I know that the secretary-general does not have power over the members. I know also that the members don’t always reflect their good relations with Israel that are expanding rapidly in the way that they vote in international bodies. Yet I believe that your leadership can make a difference. I believe that merely focusing on these changes that are so obvious, are so sensible, and are so necessary for the advancement of stability and security and peace, and ultimately prosperity, I believe that you can make an important difference.”
Watch a video of the Guterres-Netanyahu press conference below: