‘This Debate Disgraces The Fallen’: Israeli Ambassador to UN Storms Out of UN Security Council Debate on Palestine
by Andrew Bernard
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Tuesday stormed out of a UN Security Council debate on the Palestinian question held on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s memorial day.
“I refuse to spend this sacred day listening to lies and condemnation,” Erdan said. “This debate disgraces the fallen and Israel will not take part in it.”
Erdan said that he had repeatedly requested that the date of the meeting be changed to respect the holiday but the Security Council had ignored those requests. The Security Council’s agenda is laid out each month in a program of work drafted by the Council’s rotating monthly president, which for April is Russia, and is agreed upon by the Council.
Tuesday’s meeting was on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question,” which is held four times a year in an “open debate” format in which any UN member state may participate. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presided, and the meeting was held at the ministerial level.
Erdan described for the Council how Israel observes its Memorial Day, which includes two moments of silence announced nationwide by air-raid sirens and the broadcast of the name every fallen Israeli soldier on broadcast TV.
“While Israelis mourn, this Council, as usual, will hear more blatant lies condemning the State of Israel and falsely painting it as the root of all the region’s problems,” he said. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. The only reason–the only reason–this conflict has not yet been resolved is because the Palestinians refuse to accept the very existence of Israel, the Jewish state. They have proven this by rejecting every peace initiative, and by inciting to terrorism – brainwashing their children to hate and murder Jews.”
After reading the names of Israeli soldiers who were killed by Palestinian terrorists in the past year, Erdan lit a memorial candle and left the chamber.