Israel denying visas to UN officials as furore over Guterres’ remarks escalates

October 25, 2023 by Pesach Benson
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Anger over U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres escalated as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday morning that Israel would no longer issue visas to U.N. officials.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Due to his remarks we will refuse to issue visas to U.N. representatives,” Erdan told Army Radio.

“We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” the ambassador added. “The time has come to teach them a lesson.”

Guterres angered Israelis during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday when he said, “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” claiming that “The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

The Portuguese diplomat went on to say, “They 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.”

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

“Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live?” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen rebutted as he addressed the Security Council. “Definitely, this is not our world.”

Cohen cancelled a private meeting with Guterres, he subsequently announced on X (formerly Twitter). “I will not meet the U.N. secretary-general. After Oct. 7, there is no place for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased from the world,” wrote the top diplomat.

In a post on X, formerly called Twitter, Ambassador Erdan called on Guterres to resign “immediately.”

“The shocking speech by the U.N. secretary-general at the Security Council meeting … proved conclusively, beyond any doubt, that the secretary-general is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” Erdan said.

“His statement that ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder. It’s really unfathomable. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views,” the ambassador said.

Erdan urged Guterres to resign “immediately,” while sharing a post that called on the Jewish state to “rethink its relationship” with the international organization.


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