Zionist Union leaders with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: MUKI SCHWARTZ)
Zionist Union leaders reinforced Israeli President Rivlin's concerns about anti-Israel bias at the United Nations in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Monday.
"It is important that [Guterres'] voice be heard against antisemitism — as the head of the organization that was founded under the command 'never again,'" MK Tzipi Livni said in Jerusalem.
Livni, Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay and opposition leader Isaac Herzog pressed Guterres on issues ranging from growing Iranian influence in the region to weapons smuggling in southern Lebanon.
At the start of the meeting, Herzog demanded that the UN pressure Hamas to return the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in action by the terrorist group during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, to Israel. Herzog also requested the UN assist in the release of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are believed to be held captive in Gaza. Both men suffer from mental illness and are believed to have wandered across the border — Mengistu in September 2014 and Sayed in April 2015.
"Hamas deliberately abuses families and violates all basic human rights by not providing information about the situation of the abducted soldiers and preventing access by the Red Cross to their place of concealment," Herzog said.
Herzog also expressed concerns about the recent ceasefire agreement in Syria between the United States and Russia that allows for an Iranian presence in the Golan Heights.
"This is a dangerous development that we should not remain indifferent to," he said.
Regarding other regional developments in the Middle East, the three senior members of the Zionist Union made it clear that "today, there is a historic opportunity for regional peace and the creation of a single front against Iran."