Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon has been chided by members of the Security Council for an impromptu remark during a recent session in which he accused an Israeli activist of being a “collaborator.”
Danon addressed the accusation, “Shame on you, collaborator,” to B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad, who came to speak against Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
Four European countries—Britain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden—sent a letter of complaint to the Council president, saying that the comment was inappropriate and the language in which it was said — Hebrew — was inadmissable.
“We welcome the invitation of Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, to give a briefing to the Security Council on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question,” the four countries wrote. “It was very appropriate to include the aspect of human rights in this discussion. The Council’s discussions are enriched by such invitations… it’s important these individuals and organizations come to the Council without having to contend with personal attacks.”
“The remarks by the Israeli ambassador to Mr. El-Ad were very unfortunate. They were made in a language to which there was no interpretation at the Council (Hebrew), violating the basic rules of the Council, which are put in place to ensure we understand one another. It’s important that the president of the Security Council emphasizes the importance of using one of the six official languages of the UN,” the letter added.
Danon responded on Wednesday: “Some of the European countries praise, support and generously fund an organization that comes out against IDF soldiers, against the State of Israel and against its judicial system, instead of pursuing truth and justice. It would be more appropriate for these countries — which provide oxygen to the organization via massive funding that leads to increasing BDS activity around the world — to condemn its activity with a clear, firm voice. Despite that, unfortunately, they call the B’Tselem executive director’s remarks against IDF soldiers a ‘contribution to the discussion,’ while not revealing the funding they provide him.”
As for B’Tselem, Danon charged that the “organization presents everything except for the truth, and it is our duty to fight against its lies. Its close ties with countries that have anti-Israeli agenda such as Bolivia, and its presence alongside the Palestinians, only strengthen the claim it collaborates with those who seek to harm us.”