UNITED NATIONS – Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon on Monday accused Turkey of being a hub for regional terrorism while saying its recent incursion into Syria has resulted in the strengthening of the Islamic State terror network.
Speaking during a United Nations Security Council debate on the Middle East, Danon said the council spent too much time on Israel and called on its members to do more to thwart the ambitions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Erdogan has turned Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas (terrorists) and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks. Erdogan’s Turkey shows no moral or human restraint towards the Kurdish people. Erdogan has turned Turkey into a regional hub for terror,” Danon said.
The quarterly open debate often has been criticized over perceived one-sided attacks against the Jewish state.
Danon complained, “As Erdogan expands his terror campaign into Syria, the U.N. Security Council focuses on Israel. It is a disgrace to this body’s mandate that this Council continues to target Israel instead of the atrocities performed by Erdogan. Recycling old arguments over and over against Israel instead of focusing on the devastation caused by Erdogan, as we sit here today, will not save the lives of the Kurdish people.”
He continued, “Israel warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, and calls upon the international community to take action and provide aid to the Kurdish people.”
Danon added, “His violence in Syria also resulted in the strengthening of ISIS. While he was busy murdering those who have helped keep the world safe from the threat of ISIS, he allowed ISIS members to break out of prison and subject the world to future attacks.”
Before the meeting, Danon would not say if Israel played an intelligence role in the mission to kill ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this past Saturday, but he congratulated the Trump administration during his speech on the operation that saw the death of the terror leader.
United States U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft told the council, “the world is a much safer place,” following the death of al-Baghdadi. She thanked “America’s fearless women and men in uniform, our intelligence community and our partners that executed this mission flawlessly, for their efforts in bringing the leader of ISIS to justice.”
Craft focused the rest of her message on calling for more action against Hamas. She said the extremist group received less criticism than Israel and pointed out that its behavior had never been “seriously scrutinized by this council or the General Assembly.”
She continued, “If this institution is genuinely concerned with peace, we should be eager to examine Hamas’ behavior more closely.”
Last December, then-Ambassador Nikki Haley tried to persuade the General Assembly to condemn Hamas. Her efforts came close to success but were thwarted by a procedural move from the Kuwaitis and Bolivians which meant the U.S. resolution needed a two-thirds majority of votes.
Turkey’s United Nations Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu responded to Danon’s earlier remarks aimed against his country and accused the Israeli government of having a “terrorist ideology.”
He told the council, “Today, once again, we have listened to our daily dosage of lies. When these lies come from the representative of terror, they are just a waste of time.”
Iran’s deputy ambassador, Eshagh Al Habib, followed his Turkish counterpart in condemning Israel, accusing it of waging wars in the region. He also called on the Security Council to implement its resolutions against Israel and blamed the U.S. for shielding her closest Mideast ally.
Earlier in the day, Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Riyad Mansour shared a similar message. He called on the council and international community to take action against Israel if it continued to violate resolutions, saying Israel “must bear the consequences of its violations.” Mansour said they should include “sanctions and prosecution in courts.”