Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday of allowing Palestinian "hate speech to flourish" at the international organisation's institutions, Arabs48.com has reported. This, he insisted during a meeting with the UN chief, occurs even though the UN is "mandated to pursue peace."
Netanyahu's comments were made just hours after similar accusations by Israel's President. "I call upon you, Mr Secretary-General, to work to end discrimination against Israel in some branches of the organisation you are heading," said Reuven Rivlin.
Other Israeli ministers also criticised UN policies towards the Zionist state, accusing the international body of siding with the Palestinians. Guterres rejected the accusation.
"Impartiality," he explained, "means treating all states equally, and I am totally committed to that in my action and in everything I can do for the organisation I lead." He insisted that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel are "a form of modern anti-Semitism."
This was a direct reference to Netanyahu's allegation that Iran is busy turning Syria into a military base. "It wants to use Syria and Lebanon as warfronts against its declared goal to eradicate Israel," claimed the right-wing leader. "Iran is also building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end in both Syria and in Lebanon." This is something Israel cannot accept, he added. "This is something the UN should not accept."
Guterres asked Israel to increase the number of Palestinian patients in Gaza allowed to have medical treatment in Israel and is expected to discuss this issue with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
The UN Secretary-General is also scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip, but he does not plan to meet any Hamas leaders who run the de facto government in the besieged enclave.