A group of over 3,500 academics, writers, artists, former diplomats and others call on US President Joe Biden and UN General-Secretary Antonio Guterres not to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the upcoming General Assembly meeting in New York.
“Inviting Mr. Netanyahu to speak at the United Nations General Assembly will grant symbolic power and political leverage to a cynical populist who strives to establish an autocratic regime when institutions of democracy are under attack worldwide,” the signatories assert in an open letter to Guterres. “Giving this supreme artist of doublespeak and fakery a respectable venue will allow Mr. Netanyahu to rehabilitate his damaged international status. This is precisely what he so desperately seeks, using the honorable institution of the UN as the stage of his verbal trickery.”
The letter goes on to accuse Netanyahu of “legitimizing racist, ultranationalist, religious fundamentalists and homophobic political parties that until now operated at the margins of Israel’s political discourse; and this solely for the purpose of his political survival.”
“From the outset of establishing his extreme right-wing government, Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition has worked tirelessly to undermine the gatekeepers of Israel’s democracy, weaken the Supreme Court, neutralize the media, and destroy the few checks and balances safeguarding the health of our nation,” it adds.