JERUSALEM, Israel – A group of largely anti-Israel countries on Monday pushed the United Nations Security Council to yet again turn Israel into its punching bag for merely defending itself against the Iranian regime-backed terrorist movement Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ.)
In his remarks ahead of the session, Israel’s U.N. ambassador Gilad Erdan singled out Norway and Ireland, who frequently bash the Jewish state, for their role in securing an emergency meeting.
“How would Norway react to Islamists plotting to fire missiles at civilians in Oslo? How would Ireland react if Jihadi rocketeers were raining down on Dublin in an effort to wipe out the ‘infidel?” he asked.
Israel waged a three-day conflict with the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization PIJ. Erdan said, “The Palestinian (Islamic) Jihad deliberately fired eleven-hundred rockets at Israelis civilians, with roughly two-hundred landing inside the Gaza Strip, killing innocent Palestinians and among them young children.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran — the world’s worst international-sponsor of terrorism — has played a key role in stoking violence against Israel, Middle East experts say. Erdan noted, “The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a radical terror organization, armed, funded and trained by Iran.”
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China holds this month’s presidency of the Security Council and threw its support behind the emergency meeting.
The council session comes during a period of monumental crises, in which the U.N. seems largely paralyzed. A possible nuclear catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine after shelling attacks struck a Russian-controlled nuclear facility.
Observers say the U.N. Security Council has largely been impotent in its efforts to stop an over six-month grinding war of attrition between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in tens of thousands of dead, many more injured and millions displaced, largely women and children. Russia has faced allegations of war crimes in Ukraine.
In a reference to the U.S. recent neutralizing the commander of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in late July, Erdan noted the double standards at play.
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“That’s precisely why, when al-Zawahiri was eliminated, this institution, as well as most of the world, gave its full support. This was one step closer to eradicating radical terror from the world. Yet when Israel neutralizes such terrorists in order to prevent an imminent attack against our civilians, U.N. officials shamelessly issues deep concern. This is a blatant double standard and will not be accepted,” he said.
As the Security Council met Tor Wennesland, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, noted, the “preliminary numbers, which have yet to be confirmed, indicate that from 5 August, the Israel Defense Forces launched 147 airstrikes against targets in Gaza. Palestinian militants launched approximately 1,110 rockets and mortars into Israel, many of which landed deep inside Israeli territory.”
He added, “During the escalation, 46 Palestinians were killed and 360 injured, and hundreds of residential housing units were damaged or destroyed, along with other civilian infrastructure. Seventy Israeli were injured, with damage to residential and other civilian structures.”
Israel’s government documented that misfired PIJ rockets killed Palestinian children and destroyed Gaza infrastructure.
During his remarks to the council, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, did not criticize the terror group that Israel had targeted and termed the Israeli operation “unprovoked and unjustified aggression.”
Mansour attributed the Israeli preemptive military operation to stop PIJ missiles from entering Israel to the “upcoming Israeli election.” According to conspiracy theories circulating within far-left and radical Islamic circles, Israel eliminated the leadership of PIJ as an election stunt to advance the electoral chances of Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Israel’s November election.
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The three European countries who, in addition to the U.A.E and China, called for the meeting seemed to turn a blind eye toward naming the PIJ as a terrorist organization.
France’s diplomat talked about stopping the “spiral of violence” but omitted any explicit criticism of the PIJ as a terrorist movement.
Norway’s representative blamed Israel for the “occupation” and “settlement building” in its remarks. The Norwegian official did not cite the PIJ. Ireland’s diplomat called Israel the “occupying power.” It is unclear what the Irish diplomat meant by claiming Israel’s occupies the Gaza Strip.
Israel has not had a presence in Gaza since 2005 when it withdrew from the Palestinian enclave. There are no Israeli soldiers or citizens in Gaza; however, Hamas is holding two Israeli’s hostage and won’t release the bodies of two other Israeli soldiers. Ireland’s representative mirrored Norway and France by not naming the PIJ as a terrorist movement and the nature of its ideology.
In sharp contrast to the anti-Israel rebukes of the three Europeans, the U.S. Ambassador to the World Body Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, “Let us be clear: Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a designated terrorist organization in the United States and in many other nations. And it is also an Iranian proxy, which has conducted attacks against innocent civilians for years.”
She appealed to the fractured body “to come together and unconditionally repudiate the terrorism of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Thomas-Greenfield stressed that “we fully support Israel’s right to defend its people against terrorist threats, including rocket fire aimed at civilians.”