Erdan, at UN meeting, condemns anti-Israel rhetoric

Erdan was in New York to discuss sustainable development, but used his time at the podium to respond to speeches attacking Israel.

By JORDANA HORN
May 13, 2011 05:03
1 minute read.
Gilad Erdan

Erdan 311. (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 Assembly.

Erdan was in New York to discuss sustainable development, but used his time at the podium to respond to speeches attacking Israel.

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He 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 development.

“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 continued.

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.


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