October 24, 2023, New York, NY … Harriet P. Schleifer, Chair, and William Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:
“We categorically condemn United Nations Secretary-General Guterres’ comments rationalizing the October 7 terrorist attacks by the Hamas Terrorist Army, which resulted in the worst massacre of Jews since the Shoah, as not happening ‘in a vacuum.’
“Throughout his speech to the Security Council, Secretary-General Guterres displayed a callous disregard toward the suffering of Israelis and willful ignorance of the genocidal motivations of Hamas and other Gaza-based Jihadist groups. Israel is within its rights under International Humanitarian Law to take necessary measures to defend itself and eliminate the threat posed by the Hamas Terrorist Army, whose only desired ‘political solution’ is the wholesale slaughter of Jews.”
“Over 1400 Israelis, including babies, women, and the elderly, were murdered and more than 200 taken hostage by terrorists. The danger posed by rockets and missiles from Hamas and Hezbollah displaced over 200,000 Israelis. Secretary-General Guterres’ statement posits Jewish life as cheap and unworthy of his sympathy.”
“We commend Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan for standing against the UN’s moral relativism — which was evidently not present when condemning Russia, Sudan, Rwanda, and those who slaughter non-Jews. Minimizing the massacre of Jews represents an appalling abdication of moral leadership.”
“As American Jewish leaders, we cannot accept the justification of terror and tacit support for genocidal antisemitism by the United Nations Secretary-General. It was wrong when his predecessor, Nazi War criminal Kurt Waldheim did so in response to the IDF rescue of Israeli hostages in Entebbe, and it is wrong today.”
“We therefore call on Secretary-General Guterres to immediately apologize and retract his misguided rationalization of the mass murder of Jews.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the recognized central coordinating body representing 50 diverse national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern.