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'Wanted To Shock Them': Israel's UN Envoy On Wearing Yellow Star

“I want to emphasize that my goal was to shock the Security Council,” Mr Erdan said

Washington, United States:

Israel’s UN ambassador said Sunday that he wore a yellow star at a recent Security Council hearing to “shock” the body into condemning Hamas, after his action drew rebukes even from home.

Gilad Erdan’s choice a week ago to wear the badge, which has come to symbolize the oppression of Jews since its imposition in Nazi-occupied Europe, was swiftly criticized by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, which urged him to wear the Israeli flag instead.

“This act disgraces the victims of the Holocaust as well as the state of Israel,” the memorial’s chair Dani Dayan said in a Hebrew-language post on X, formerly Twitter.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Erdan defended the move and denounced the Security Council again for its “silence” over the unprecedented attacks by Hamas group on Israel on October 7.

“I just want to emphasize that my goal was to first of all shock the Security Council,” Erdan said of his controversial choice to wear the star.

The deeply divided 15-member body has yet to adopt a single resolution on the attack or on Israel’s decision to launch a retaliatory war against Hamas.

“I wanted to shock them. I wanted to remind them of their silence and I wanted to convey a message that we — not like in the past — we are not weak as we were during the Holocaust,” Erdan said Sunday.

The Hamas operatives ruling Gaza attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials, in the worst attack in the country’s 75-year history.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, heavily bombed Gaza and launched a ground invasion on the north of the besieged territory. Gaza’s health ministry says 9,770 people have been killed, also mostly civilians.

For weeks the Security Council has been riven by divisions over the war and its impact, rejecting four draft resolutions about the conflict.

Some texts were blocked by the United States, a close Israel ally, because they did not mention Israel’s right to defend itself.

Another presented by the Americans was stymied by Russia and China in particular because it did not clearly call for a ceasefire.

In light of the deadlock, the UN General Assembly last Friday adopted by a large majority a nonbinding resolution requesting an “immediate humanitarian truce,” but without mentioning Hamas.

Nevertheless, Erdan warned Sunday that Israel would not back down.

“We will continue to fight without any peace ceasefires until we eradicate Hamas,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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