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Guterres is now part of the problem

Article published by,  25 October 2023. © Richard Kemp

Secretary General Antonio Guterres has dragged the UN down to a new low with his disgraceful justification of the Hamas slaughter, rape and torture of innocent Israelis. Before all of the bodies have even been identified, so vicious was the violence against them, and while 220 distressed and abused hostages remain imprisoned in the Gaza Strip, Guterres was blaming Israel in front of the UN Security Council. Not only is this deeply unworthy of a body that is dedicated to peace and truth, it also follows Hamas’s own agenda.

Guterres told the council that Hamas’s attacks did not happen in a vacuum. He is right. It happened against the backdrop of decades of justification and encouragement of Palestinian terrorism by the UN, western media, human rights groups, politicians and universities that consistently condemned Israel for resisting violence against its citizens. Led by the UN Human Rights Council a narrative of anti-Israel hate was built up that tied Israel’s hands and emboldened Hamas and other terrorist groups.

But according to Guterres’s false account, ‘the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation’. In the face of the worst assault on Jewish people since the Nazi death camps, his remarks are akin to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attributing blame for the Holocaust to the conduct of the Jews themselves.

Guterres’s ‘suffocating occupation’ dates back to 1967 when, as a result of a war of aggression by Arab countries, Israel regained territory that it had lost in an earlier war of aggression in 1948. Under the uti possidetis juris principle of customary international law, the State of Israel inherited the boundaries of the previous sovereign, which was Great Britain. While the territories have been disputed, no state other than Israel has lawful sovereignty and so Israel cannot be an ‘occupier’ in its own land which includes Judea and Samaria and Gaza. That remains the case unless and until Israel agrees to relinquish sovereignty following negotiations.

Furthermore, the vast majority of the territory that Guterres wrongly claims to be occupied has been repeatedly offered by Israel Continue reading