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UN will ‘lose its right to exist’ if it doesn’t treat Israel fairly, envoy says

Ahead of Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech, Gilad Erdan warns international body must change its approach to the Jewish state if it wants to remain relevant

Likud's Gilad Erdan in Jerusalem, May 18, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud's Gilad Erdan in Jerusalem, May 18, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Tuesday claimed the international body was at risk of “losing its right to exist” over its unfair treatment of the Jewish state and predicted it could be defunct by the end of the century.

“The UN is risking the loss of whatever relevance and legitimacy it has left. If the organization can’t take action against the worst regimes and continues to cling to the Palestinian obsession, in 75 years there will be no UN to mark its birthday, because it will simply lose its right to exist,” Erdan wrote in a column for the Israel Hayom daily.

He was referring to the UN’s 75th anniversary, which was marked earlier this month. Israeli leaders have taken a hard line against the UN in recent years, accusing it of disproportionately criticizing Israel while ignoring abuses by other countries.

Erdan, who took up the post in August, lashed the United Nations for turning a blind eye to abuses by Iran, and also singled out the secretary-general, Antonio Gutteres, for omitting mention of Israel’s normalization deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in his opening speech at the General Assembly last week.

The UN must “rechart its course” and make room for Israel in its institutions, said Erdan. “I will fight for this with all of my power and I believe that if the UN wants to remain relevant, it must treat Israel fairly and in a balanced way.”

Erdan’s column was published ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly Tuesday evening.

Seated in the General Assembly hall, Erdan introduced Netanyahu, and in his opening remarks protested what he said was the failure of the UN “to encourage more countries” to follow the leads of the UAE and Bahrain in making peace with Israel. “Most states are missing this opportunity,” Erdan said.

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