Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly took aim at the United Nations long record of bias against the Jewish State during his meeting with the world body’s Secretary General António Guterres.
By Erin Viner
Bennett used his Monday meeting with Guterres “to tear into the international institution over its ‘discrimination’ against Israel; while stressing “that if the UN wants Israelis to take its institutions seriously, its members must start treating the Jewish State as an equal partner, as opposed to attacking it disproportionately,” reported the Times of Israel, citing a diplomatic official after the meeting.
According to the Secretary General’s office, after being briefed by Bennett on the situation in Israel, the two “exchanged views on regional developments, including the Middle East Peace Process.”
Others present during the Bennett-Guterres talks included Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, National Security Council Head Dr. Eyal Hulata, Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil, and Diplomatic Advisor Shimrit Meir.
Amb. Erdan also attended the Israeli Premier’s subsequent meeting with United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, during which he underscored his ire over the world body’s history of bias against his nation.
“I think that the reengagement of the United States with international institutions is a good opportunity to bring balance to these institutions vis a vis Israel,” Bennett said, according to a statement released by his media advisor obtained by TV7. “Many times we feel these institutions are slanted and sometimes unfair and I think the new spirit between America and Israel can be brought to bear and we can do great things together,” he said.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is rejoining the UN’s controversial Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and has mostly resumed funding to the Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees, reversing actions taken by his predecessor Donald Trump over strong anti-Israel platforms at both organizations. The White House may also return to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which Trump left in 2018 for the same reason.
Prime Minister Bennett thanked Thomas-Greenfield for her activity on behalf of the State of Israel at the UN as well as for America’s “unswerving” support of Israel, and invited her to visit the country.
After lauding her previous efforts, the Israeli leader also asked Amb. Thomas-Greenfields to maintain her assistance to secure the release of the bodies of 2 IDF soldiers and 2 citizens being held by the Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza.
Sergeant First Class Oron Shaul and Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin killed in action during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge conflict with Gaza. Their bodies were seized by Hamas for use as “bargaining chips” in any future prisoner swaps for the past 7 years. The Islamist terror group has also been holding captive Israeli civilians Avraham “Avera” Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, both of whom reportedly suffer mental impairment and crossed into the lawless Palestinian enclave at separate times on their own accord 2014-2015.
In July, the US envoy to the UN vowed that the Biden administration will “continue to fiercely advocate” for the return of the missing soldiers and civilians during the monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council.
“No parent — no one — should have to endure such a wretched experience,” Thomas-Greenfield told the UNSC, adding that during her June meeting with Lt. Goldin’s mother Leah, “I promised her I would do everything possible to support her efforts to have her son returned.”
Prime Minister Bennett was in New York to give his debut address to the UN General Assembly. Prior to his departure for home this morning, he referred to his meetings as “beneficial.”