Reiterating his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, United Nations Secretary-GeneralAntónio Guterres today told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is committed to protecting Israel and its right to exist.On his first visit to Israel since taking office at the beginning of this year, the Secretary-General met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders in Jerusalem.
“I understand the security concerns of Israel, and I repeat that the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the State of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective,” he said.
Calling himself an impartial “honest broker” and a “messenger of peace,” Mr. Guterres noted that Members of the UN are sovereign countries with their own interests, values and convictions.
“To be an honest broker means that all countries must be treated equally both by the Secretary-General and the Secretariat that the Secretary-General directs. This is for me very clear and you can be sure that these values will be upheld,” he said.
He added that he has expressed his opposition to the settlement activity in the region, but also noted the terrorism, violence and incitement, as well as the difficulties created by the separation between the West Bank and Gaza.
Speaking alongside Mr. Netanyahu to the press after their meeting, Mr. Guterres disclosed what he said was a long-time dream that the Holy Land be home to two states, with a Jerusalem which is shared by three religions.Also today, Mr. Guterres met with President Reuven Rivlin, whom he told that while the UN will always be “very frank” in the dialogue with Israel, “we will always be very committed to make sure that anti-Semitism doesn’t prevail and that equality in the treatment of all states is fully respected.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Guterres visited Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, where he reiterated his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism in all its expressions.