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UN complacent for allowing extremist Gilad Erdan's senior UN post appointment 

Israel's UN envoy tears up Human Rights Council report [UNTV]
Israel's UN envoy Gilad Erdan tears up Human Rights Council report [UNTV]

The appointment of Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Gilad Erdan on 7 June to the post of vice-president of the UN General Assembly was not only provocative to the feelings of the Palestinian people, but also an insult and disgrace to the values of humanity and justice of the international community.

Erdan is not a representative of a normal country with no disputes or problems with others; he belongs to an entity accused of practising apartheid policies against an entire population. He represents a regime that kills, in cold blood, Palestinians and humiliates them on a daily basis.

While the Israeli government intensifies and escalates its assaults against Palestinians across the Occupied Territories, his appointment is a reward for the Israeli regime, oblivious to the dozens of UN reports documenting Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

The blood of iconic journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, assassinated by an Israeli soldier on 11 May while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin, has not yet dried.

READ: Restrictions at Al-Aqsa protect against 'your terrorist organisation', Israel envoy to UN tells Arab journalist

Moreover, it is a bizarre coincidence that Erdan's appointment comes as the Independent International Commission of Inquiry, formed last year by the UN following Israel's aggression on Gaza, prepares to present its report to the 50th session of the Human Rights Council on 13 June, 2022. The report slams, in a clear language, Israel's violation against Palestinians.

Contrary to the report's warnings that not holding Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes against Palestinians increases the sense of impunity, Erdan's appointment feeds this sentiment and assures Israeli leaders that whatever crimes they commit, they can evade prosecution.

It's not an exaggeration to say that his appointment is a threat to international peace and security. How could this person, and the entity behind him, be entrusted with chairing meetings of the General Assembly and partially involved in setting the agenda for the assembly's meetings? How will the Palestinians' suffering and narratives be heard in the General Assembly under this appointment? How could the UN stand against oppressors and leaders accused of human rights violations worldwide while allowing a person like Erdan to assume this important position?

Erdan insults the UN

On a personal level, Erdan does not deserve to assume this post due to his misconduct and behaviour. We still remember October of last year, when he tore up a report by the UN's Human Rights Council during an address at the General Assembly, throwing it in a dustbin before leaving the podium.

Erdan could simply oppose, or even criticise, the report in a respectful, diplomatic manner, but he chose a way that reflects his arrogance, disrespect and lack of diplomatic conduct, and his absence of respect for the UN system in general.

We also remember when he ridiculously and desperately tried to justify the Israeli air strikes on Palestinian civilians by showing a rock he brought to the UN headquarters to prove what he described as "Palestinian violence".

Gilad Erdan: An extremist in a senior UN post

Erdan lives in Ganei Tikva, an Israeli town built on the lands belonging to the Palestinian village of Al-Abbasiyya, which was ethnically cleansed and destroyed by Jewish gangs during the course of the Palestinian Nakba events in 1948.

Erdan, the son of two Jewish immigrants from Romania and Hungary with no connections whatsoever to Palestine, is known for his anti-Palestinian stances. He opposed all peace attempts with Palestinians and claimed that Palestinians are the reason for not reaching a settlement to the conflict. Erdan was behind the Israeli decision to prevent members of the US Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, from visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territories in August 2019.

READ: Israel's Hasbara in Sheikh Jarrah, on Gilad Erdan's 'Terrorist' Rock and Faulty Logic

When Erdan was public security minister, he was even accused by Israeli groups of being indifferent to hate crimes carried out by Jewish extremists against Christian and Muslim religious sites, notably in occupied Jerusalem. This is all in addition to his repeated incitements against the activists of the peaceful international boycott movement (BDS), which exposes Israeli violations and crimes worldwide.

This evidence, along with much more, is sufficient to bring Erdan to trial, or at least remove him from the UN. Instead, however, he is unfortunately rewarded with a senior post, a living example of impunity, contrary to what is called for by UN reports.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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