NEW YORK – Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor addressed the Security Council on Wednesday with a stern warning not to ignore the signs of impending genocide.
“The Holocaust may have reached its barbaric climax in Auschwitz and Treblinka,” Prosor said, “but signs of the impending catastrophe where evident years earlier. Jews were systematically demonized – robbed of their dignity, then robbed of their possessions, and finally, robbed of their lives.” He spoke during the open debate on “War, its lessons and the search for permanent peace.”
Prosor noted that this pattern of “defamation, degradation, and bloodshed” visibly repeated itself in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur, and despite the warning signs, nothing was done.
“We cannot tolerate governments brutalizing their people,” he said. “We cannot rest while barrel bombs are falling on Syrian citizens, executions are on the rise in Iran, and sexual violence is rampant in the Central African Republic.”
He went on to speak about the growing anti-Semitism throughout the Middle East, including in textbooks and on state-sanctioned TV channels.
“War is not inevitable. It is not a force of nature, nor is it part of human nature. It can be prevented. But only if we stand together to denounce indifference and defend peace,” he said.
Prosor addressed the council two days after the UN marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin echoed Prosor’s words in his speech, asking why, if the world had affirmed the idea of “Never again,” was Hitler’s Mein Kampf still a bestseller? And why were far-right groups gaining power in Europe? “Speculation that the manifestations of Nazism do not need to be fought against today, since a healthy society will itself reject these ideas, disregard not only the malignant nature of this phenomenon but also today’s alarming reality,” Churkin said.
Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee did not mention Israel or the Holocaust directly, but called out the council for not addressing “the Palestinian crisis.”
“The failure of the council in this case has meant the continuation of occupation of the lands of other nations, which lies at the heart of this crisis and many other difficult situations in the Middle East,” Khazaee said. “The very basic right of a whole people to self-determination is denied in this case and the council is yet to lift a finger to reinstate it. Even worse, despite the condemnation of the whole world, the illegal settlement building continues unabated, while the council fails to address it, due to the frequent use of veto [by the US].”