SWC Condemns UN Secretary General’s Statement: “Hamas attacks did not happen in a vacuum, but after occupation”

October 24, 2023

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned today’s statements by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who said,“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.  The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”

“Israel left Gaza voluntarily and the Secretary General and the world knows it," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director.

“Any wall or fence built is only because of Hamas terrorism and he and the world know it. Hamas terrorists invaded sovereign territory of a UN member state, not disputed territories, and the Secretary General and the world knows this too," he added.

“If 40 infants of any nation would have be slaughtered by terrorists, which country would accept a cease fire before such Nazis were eliminated! The world led by Secretary General Gutteres must demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and let Israel eliminate the terrorist threat once and for all," Cooper concluded.

Earlier in the day, Center officials lead by Rabbi Cooper met with a senior official in the Secretary Generals’ office where they pressed for:

1. Mobilization of the international community to gain the immediate unconditional release of all the hostages. 

2. Immediate Action over the increasing use of UNRWA schools and facilities as staging areas for missile strikes and other terrorist activity.

3. Early warnings for the IDF when they are approaching an area where Gazan youth are being used as suicide bombers and human shields. 

For further information contact the Center’s Communications department at pressinquiries@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software