Chemical weapons drill 390.
(photo credit: Reuters)
NEW YORK – Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said Tuesday that the prospect of
Hezbollah acquiring chemical weapons – through mishandling or via Syrian
President Bashar Assad’s government — is “frightening,” and called on the
Security Council to act immediately to prevent their
Prosor’s comments came during a daylong debate at the UN
on counterterrorism efforts. The Israeli envoy contended that an end to
terrorism required addressing the fundamental teachings of prejudice and
“I want to take the opportunity of this debate to ask the simple
question: How do we truly counter terrorism?” he asked in the hall of the
“Yes, we must combat terrorists wherever they seek to
strike. Yes, we must attack terrorist infrastructure, and go after those who
support and finance terrorism,” he said.
“However, true counterterrorism
must also begin by disrupting the ecosystem of extremism in which terror
thrives,” Prosor continued.
“It means advancing education that teaches
peace, not hate, and mutual understanding, not martyrdom. It means speaking out
against incitement and all forms of terrorism, even when it is politically
The international community is far from that goal of
disrupting the “ecosystem” of terrorism, Prosor said, citing the celebration of
suicide bombers after successful strikes, Hezbollah’s collection of over 50,000
missiles in violation of Resolution 1701 and the teaching of bomb-making to
young children in societies hostile to Israel and its Western
Prosor added that no country can act alone in thwarting terrorist
efforts, crediting the UN for fostering a significant global
But the debate on terrorism reflected the global reach of
the phenomenon, and attracted countries from every hemisphere to speak
African nations struggled to distinguish between terrorist actions
and corrupted resistance efforts. Syria’s Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari ambassador
called the international community hypocritical.
“The terrorist armed
groups in my country always take advantage of a Security Council meeting to
perpetrate a terrorist attack inside Syria and this is indeed what happened
today perhaps for the 10th or 20th time since the crisis in my country began,”
Ja’afari told the 15- nation council, charging a moral and logical disconnect
between actions taken against terrorists in Mali and an “alliance” cast between
Syrian rebels and Western powers.
United States Ambassador Susan Rice
called for a holistic approach to counterterrorism around the world, warning
against “complacency” as terrorist cells continue to adapt to international
“Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is a significant
international threat. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabaab continue to
sow instability and exploit safe havens in Mali, the Sahel and the Horn of
Africa, destabilizing societies and obstructing the delivery of vital
humanitarian relief to millions in need,” Rice said. “And transnational
terrorist groups remain active in North Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Syria and elsewhere.”
The US recognizes that force alone is insufficient
to counter an evermore diffuse terrorist community, Rice said, adding that their
“capacity-building assistance” efforts to reinforce the security of its allies,
and the homeland, have intensified.
“No single country, no one
organization, nor any particular tactic or tool alone can neutralize the threat
of terrorism,” Rice said.