US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears to call out much of the international community for failing to explicitly condemn the October 7 Hamas onslaught.
Blinken says in his speech to the ministerial gathering of the United Nations Security Council that in his conversations with world leaders since the assault, there has been agreement that countries have a right and obligation to respond to terror attacks against their civilians, but indicates that not all of them have acknowledged this publicly.
“It must be asked: Where’s the outrage? Where’s the revulsion? Where’s the rejection? Where’s the explicit condemnation of these horrors?” Blinken asks.
The secretary calls on countries to do everything in their power to secure the release of the remaining 220-plus hostages in Gaza.
Blinken tells the ministerial gathering that while the US does not seek conflict with Iran, it will respond if Tehran or its proxies attack US personnel. “Make no mistake. We will defend our people. We will defend our security swiftly and decisively.”
Blinken urges Security Council members to call out Iran for its malign regional activity and warn it, like the US has, not to open another front against Israel.
“Act as if the security and stability of the entire region and beyond is on the line because it is,” Blinken tells members.
He closes by urging members to “redouble our collective effort” to work toward a two-state solution following the outbreak of the war in Gaza.
“The only road to lasting peace and security in the region, the only way to break out of this horrific cycle of violence is through two states for two peoples,” Blinken says, acknowledging that it will be difficult.
“Nothing would be a greater victory for Hamas, than allowing its brutality to send us down the path of terrorism and nihilism. We must not let it. Hamas does not get to choose for us,” Blinken says, adding that the path the US and the world should choose is one where the region is more integrated and “normalized” — hinting at efforts to broker an Israel-Saudi agreement.