(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
NEW YORK – Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday slammed
Arab states for hurling invective at Israel during a meeting in the UN General
RELATED:Erdan leads sustainable development delegation to UN
Erdan was in New York to discuss sustainable development, but
used his time at the podium to respond to speeches attacking Israel.
addressed the Arab Group, which discussed the role of the “occupation in the
territories and east Jerusalem” in preventing Palestinians from developing and
from realizing their rights in terms of transport, chemicals, waste management,
mining and consumption.
Erdan noted at the conclusion of his remarks
about the vision of a “green economy” promoting sustainability, that, as
environmental minister, he “came to New York to speak on behalf of my country –
a member of this commission – only on the issues of sustainable
“However, I cannot stay silent as representatives of the
Arab Group use this professional forum to launch false accusations against my
country for their own cynical, political purposes,” Erdan
After noting that Jews have lived in Jerusalem continuously
for thousands of years, Erdan said that “any dispute about territory in
Jerusalem or anywhere else between us and the Palestinians can only be resolved
through direct negotiations.
“However, the Palestinians refuse to
negotiate with us and instead continue to seek unilateral initiatives in
international fora,” he said.
“Recent events in Middle Eastern countries
– driven by economic conditions – again reveal that Israel is an island of
stability, human rights, and economic opportunity for all its citizens, Arabs
and Jews alike,” Erdan said.