‘How Many Dead Jews Does It Take?’ Israeli ambassador slams UN equivocation on Hamas slaughter

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights worried Hamas massacre of Jews could provoke Islamophobia.

By Andrew Bernard, The Algemeiner

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Tuesday slammed United Nations officials and the UN Human Rights Council for their equivocations and failures to condemn Hamas’ massacre of more than 1,250 Israelis since Saturday.

“Israel just suffered the gravest human rights atrocity since the Holocaust,” Erdan said.

“How many dead Jews does it take to justify a proportionate response against a genocidal terror organization? Is it 1,000? Six million? Maybe it’s 10 million — the population of Israel? This is, after all, Hamas’ publicly declared goal. So I ask you, how many murdered Jews does it take for you to support Israel’s right to self defense?”

Erdan was responding to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, who in a statement on Tuesday called for a ceasefire and did not mention Hamas by name, referring instead only to “armed Palestinian groups,” and said it was “horrific and deeply distressing to see” Hamas’ hostages “being ill-treated, as well as reports of killings and the desecration of their bodies.”

Türk also expressed concern that the largest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust could provoke Islamophobia.

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“The human rights chief expressed deep concern at how hate speech and incitement to violence have surged since Saturday, fueling antisemitism and Islamophobia in the region and globally,” the statement said.

Erdan also slammed the UN Human Rights Council for its “distorted moral standard” and promised that Israel would “obliterate Hamas terror infrastructure.”

“The Human Rights Council has lost its moral compass,” Erdan said. “Sadly, you refuse to differentiate between good and evil, murderers and perpetrators. Your immoral comparisons sent a clear message to the terrorists that if they hide their rockets and weapons under schools and hospitals, and use the people of Gaza as human shields, the Human Rights Council gives them immunity for their heinous crimes.”

Erdan’s condemnation comes as the UN’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Israel announced Tuesday that it was investigating war crimes committed by “all sides” in what it called “Israel’s latest attack on Gaza.”

In a press release, the commission acknowledged that there are “reports” that Hamas has killed hundreds of civilians before pivoting to what they allege to be Israel’s crimes.

“The commission is gravely concerned with Israel’s latest attack on Gaza and Israel’s announcement of a complete siege on Gaza involving the withholding of water, food, electricity, and fuel which will undoubtfully [sic] cost civilian lives and constitutes collective punishment,” the commission said.

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The commission — which is formally titled the “Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel” and was established by a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva — has faced extensive criticism from Israel, the United States, and others for the alleged bias of its commissioners and its open-ended mandate.

One of the COI’s commissioners, Miloon Kothari, was forced to apologize in August 2022 after saying in an interview that social media was “controlled largely by the Jewish lobby” and that he “would go as far as to raise the question of why [Israel is] even a member of the United Nations.”

The COI investigation was also touted by the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Palestine Francesca Albanese, who posted about the investigation on x/Twitter on Tuesday. In an interview with Al Jazeera on Monday, Albanese, who has described the United States as being “subjugated by the Jewish Lobby” and last year told a Hamas conference that there was a Palestinian “right to resist,” blamed Israel for Hamas’ slaughter.