The new United Nations Security General, António Guterres, has enraged the Palestinian Authority after making statements about the Temple Mount and the way Israel is treated by UN member states.
The Palestinian outrage began on Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January), when Guterres was given an impassioned speech about the Holocaust in the UN General Assembly.
This was a powerful speech that addressed the root cause of the Holocaust – anti-Semitism.
He looked back at anti-Semitism of the past and showing the constant instances of anti-Semitism throughout history, from ancient times until today.
While the Palestinian Authority, who continue those anti-Semitic attitudes, were likely to be outraged by the whole speech. (After all, Mahmoud Abbas wrote an entire book that tried to deny/revise the Holocaust). There was one line, however, that caused Palestinian outrage to overflow.
That line was when Guterres said, “Imperial Rome not only destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, but also made Jews pariahs in many ways.”
He pointed out the historic fact that there was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and that Jews lived in Jerusalem long before the Palestinians were ever on the scene.
Abbas’ Fatah party responded with outrage claiming that his comments were “an assault on Palestinian’s rights to the city”.
Palestinian leaders have long claimed that the Palestinians are the sole owners of Jerusalem and that their history pre-dates the Jews. They used the recently passed resolutions by UNESCO in December and the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in January, which effectively remove the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, as proof of their claim.
Despite these resolutions going against historic fact, Palestinian leaders are trying to deceive their people, and the world, into believing that they own Jerusalem.
Fortunately, the new UN General Secretary has a backbone and he has stuck to his guns.
In an interview on with Israel’s Channel 2, Guterres reconfirmed his statement, saying, “It is clear to me that the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, it was a Jewish temple.”
“As it is clear for me today that Jerusalem is today a holy city for three religions. These are the facts that nobody can deny,” he added.
During the interview he also addressed the issues that Israel faces at the United nations.
“Israel needs to be considered as a state as the same as all the others with exactly the same rights and obligations and without any form of discrimination.” However, he added that in other UN bodies, decisions can be “totally dependent on the governing bodies which are the member states,” and therefore beyond his control.
The UN has long been accused of having a systemic bias against the Jewish state. In 2016, the General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel and only six on the rest of the world combined.
In January, the outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also acknowledged his organisation’s bias against Israel, saying, “Decades of political manoeuvring have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel.”
On top of this, the Associated Press reported last year that Israel is the only country in the world that “has its record inspected at every single session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”
Could change be coming to the way Israel is treated by the United Nations?
Watch Guterres’ full speech from Holocaust Memorial day below.