Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors clash at UN

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors traded barbs during a U.N. Security Council meeting Monday.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon deviated from his speech at the monthly meeting to demand that the Palestinian representative condemn acts of terrorism, various media outlets reported.

“Shame on you for glorifying terrorism!” Danon said.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour retorted: “Shame on you for killing Palestinian children!”


After the Security Council president called them to order, Danon said to Mansour: “You cannot say it here. Palestinian children are looking at you right now. ‘I condemn all acts of terrorism’: one sentence you cannot say. Shame on you for that.”

“Let my people be free! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! You are an occupier,” Mansour replied.

Earlier at the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the council and, according to Reuters, welcomed recent efforts by both sides that “have contributed to a reduction of tensions in recent weeks.”

“Israelis and Palestinians need their leaders to elevate public discourse above mutual accusations and to engage in a constructive dialogue that can rebuild the trust that has all but evaporated,” Ban said.

The council debate came as Palestinians are pushing the United Nations to pass a resolution demanding that Israel stop all settlement construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The United States vetoed a similar resolution in 2011, but it is not yet clear whether it will do so this time.

Also at the meeting, Renana Meir, whose mother, Dafna, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in January, addressed the council on behalf of the Israeli mission, the Times of Israel reported.

“It is difficult to express in words the deep pain and unbearable longing. This sense of loss breaks our heart and our soul,” she said. “With broken hearts we ask the international community for help. We hear those who say that terror is a result of frustration, and we ask — is there anything more frustrating than what we have endured?”

Dafna Meir, 38, was stabbed to death in front of her children on Jan. 17 in her house in the West Bank settlement of Otniel.

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