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UN calls Israeli envoy’s shredding of UN charter ‘theatric’

UN calls Israeli envoy’s shredding of UN charter ‘theatric’

The UN criticized Israel’s ambassador to the UN for his act of shredding a copy of the UN Charter on stage at the General Assembly on Friday, calling it a theatrical action and urging all members to respect the UN Charter.

“We don’t comment on the various remarks made by different ambassadors and the theatrics, both of the past and the present, are things that are part and parcel of the presentations the member states make,” said UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq when asked about Gilad Erdan’s actions ahead of the vote on the reevaluation of Palestine’s UN membership.

“Regarding the charter, obviously, this is an organization that is premised on respect for the UN Charter, and all of the member states have pledged to uphold the UN Charter, and we expect them to fulfill that obligation,” he added.

READ ALSO: Angry Israeli envoy shreds UN’s charter to protest vote for Palestinian rights

The UN General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling for the reevaluation of Palestine’s UN membership bid and granting additional rights.

The resolution, which was spearheaded by the UAE (on behalf of the Arab Group), was adopted by overwhelming consensus with 143 member states voting in favor, 9 against and 25 abstentions.

Co-sponsored by Türkiye along with nearly 80 member states, the resolution expressed “deep regret and concern” over veto of the US at the UN Security Council on April 18.

Palestinian membership push

The Palestinian push for full UN membership comes seven months into a war between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, and as Israel is expanding settlements in the West Bank, which the UN and most of the international community considers to be illegal.

An application to become a full UN member first needs to be approved by the 15-member Security Council and then the General Assembly. If the measure is again voted on by the council it is likely to face the same fate: a US veto.

The General Assembly resolution adopted on Friday does give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 — like a seat among the UN members in the assembly hall — but they will not be granted a vote in the body.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

“We want peace, we want freedom,” Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the assembly before the vote. “A yes vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state…. It is an investment in peace.”

“Voting yes is the right thing to do,” he said in remarks that drew applause.

Under the founding UN Charter, membership is open to “peace-loving states” that accept the obligations in that document and are able and willing to carry them out.

Israel’s arrogance

Erdan, who spoke after Mansour, arrogantly told his fellow diplomats: “As long as so many of you are ‘Jew-hating,’ you don’t really care that the Palestinians are not ‘peace-loving’.”

He accused the assembly of shredding the UN Charter — as he used a small shredder to destroy a copy of the Charter while at the lectern.

“Shame on you,” Erdan said.

Erdan also held up a picture of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, with the caption “President Sinwar, the terror state of Hamas, sponsored by the UN,” with the Israeli envoy telling the plenum that the terror leader was indebted to the UN for its assistance to the group.

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the General Assembly after the vote that unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance a two-state solution.

“Our vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood; we have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully. Instead, it is an acknowledgment that statehood will only come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

Before the vote the US mission said in a statement that the resolution would not lead to practical solutions to solve issues facing the Palestinians.

“Additionally, the draft resolution does not alter the status of the Palestinians as a ‘non-member state observer mission.’ Even if the resolution were adopted, the text explicitly outlines that the Palestinian non-member-state observer mission would not gain the right to vote in the General Assembly. It also would not gain the right to put forward candidates in UN organs or to be elected as a member of the Security Council,” the statement read.

The United Nations has long endorsed a vision of two states living side by side within secure and recognized borders. Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip — all territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War with neighboring Arab states.

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