Israel calls UN chief a ‘danger to world peace’ after he invokes Article 99 of UN Charter

UN secretary-general invokes rarely used Article 99 to press for permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

By The Algemeiner

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “reached a new moral low” and in effect signaled his support for the Hamas terror group by invoking a rarely used clause of the UN chapter to address the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, according to senior Israeli officials.

Guterres on Wednesday announced that he was invoking Article 99 of the UN charter for the first time, citing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave ruled by Hamas.

“Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the [UN Security] Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe & appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared,” the UN chief wrote on X/Twitter.

He also attached to his social media post a copy of a letter to José Javier De la Gasca Lopez Domínguez, the current UN Security Council president, explaining his decision and saying he expects “public order to completely break down due to desperate conditions, rendering even limited humanitarian assistance impossible.”

I’ve just invoked Art.99 of the UN Charter – for the 1st time in my tenure as Secretary-General.

Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe & appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared.

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 6, 2023

According to the UN, invoking Article 99 allows the UN secretary-general to bring the attention of the security council to “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

It’s unclear why Guterres, who’s served in his current role since Jan. 2017, has not activated this measure for other conflicts during his tenure that affected larger areas and had higher casualty figures.

Top Israeli officials lambasted Guterres for what they described as an obsessive bias against Israel and a decision that would only help Hamas.

“Guterres’ tenure is a danger to world peace,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on X/Twitter. “His request to activate Article 99 and the call for a cease-fire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organization and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies, and the rape of women. Anyone who supports world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas.”

Guterres’ tenure is a danger to world peace.
His request to activate Article 99 and the call for a cease fire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organization and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies and the rape of women.
Anyone who…

— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) December 6, 2023

Cohen was referring to the crimes committed by Hamas during its surprise invasion of Israel on Oct. 7. Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas murdered 1,200 people, mostly civilians, during their rampage across southern Israeli communities and kidnapped 240 others, taking them back to Gaza as hostages. Reports of the terrorists’ brutality, including torture and rampant sexual violence, have shocked the world.

The Israeli military has been targeting Hamas in Gaza with air strikes and ground operations since the massacre, with the stated goals of destroying the terror group and rescuing all the hostages.

One problem for Israel has been Hamas’ notorious strategy of placing its weapons, command centers, and other key targets near or even inside civilian sites, leading the European Union to recently condemn the terror group for using hospitals as “human shields.”

However, Guterres has been a vocal critic of Israel’s military campaign and repeatedly called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — a move that Jerusalem argues will allow Hamas to regroup and strengthen its position.

Cohen wasn’t the only Israeli official to sound off on the UN chief’s decision. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said Guterres “reached a new moral low” with his announcement.

“The Secretary-General decided to activate this rare clause only when it allows him to put pressure on Israel, which is fighting the Nazi Hamas terrorists. This is more proof of the Secretary-General’s moral distortion and his bias against Israel,” Erdan posted on social media. “The Secretary-General’s call for a ceasefire is actually a call to keep Hamas’ reign of terror in Gaza. Instead of the Secretary-General explicitly pointing to Hamas’ responsibility for the situation and calling on the terrorist leaders to turn themselves in and return the hostages, thus ending the war, the Secretary-General chooses to continue playing into Hamas’ hands.”

Erdan added that Guterres’ positions on the war “only prolong the fighting in Gaza, because they give hope to the Hamas terrorists that the war will be stopped and they will be able to survive.”

The ambassador called on Guterres to “resign immediately — the UN needs a Secretary-General who supports the war on terror, not a Secretary-General who acts according to the script written by Hamas.”

Today, the Secretary-General has reached a new moral low. He writes that he is activating, for the first time, Article 99 of the UN Charter in relation to the Israel-Hamas war, an article that can only be invoked in a situation where international peace and security are…

— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) December 6, 2023

For the last several weeks, Israeli officials have repeatedly castigated Guterres and the UN’s response to the current conflict. Last month, for example, Cohen said that Guterres was unfit to lead the UN, arguing he had not done enough to condemn the Hamas terrorist group or to advance peace in the Middle East.

Cohen’s comments came three weeks after he canceled a meeting with Guterres, who in remarks the prior month seemingly blamed Israel for Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre.

Erdan went further, calling on Guterres to resign for rationalizing Hamas’ atrocities against Israeli civilians.

The backlash came in response to comments that Guterres made at a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war at the time.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres said. “The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence. Their economy is stifled, their people displaced, and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”

Beyond Cohen and Erdan, members of both the Israeli unity government and the opposition also called out Guterres, with Minister Benny Gantz saying the UN leader “condones terror” and opposition leader Yair Lapid saying that Guterres “brought shame upon the United Nations … [with] excuses and rationalization for barbaric terrorism.”

Israeli officials have also expressed outrage at Guterres for in their view being too close to Iran, the main international sponsor of Hamas.

Last month, Guterres met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in New York.

In a recent interview, Guterres said he had appealed to Iran to intervene and stop worsening hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terror group based in Lebanon, on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Guterres told journalist Fareed Zakaria that he had asked Iran “to tell Hezbollah, ‘You cannot create a situation in which Lebanon will be completely engulfed by this conflict,’ because if Hezbollah will launch a massive attack on Israel it might create, I don’t know what kind of impact, but one thing I am sure — Lebanon would not survive.”

Asked if Iran had been responsive, the UN chief said, “I do not know. They said always that they have nothing to do with what is happening but they say publicly that there is a risk of this conflict to be extended. It’s always very mysterious, the position of Iran.”

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White House interns demand Biden push for ceasefire and an end to ‘Israeli apartheid’

The White House interns join other groups of junior staffers across Washington who have called for a cease-fire.

By Andrew Bernard, JNS

More than 40 anonymous White House interns issued a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday demanding that the administration call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and support a political solution to end “Israeli apartheid.”

“We, the undersigned fall 2023 White House and executive office of the president interns, will no longer remain silent on the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people,” the letter opens. “We are Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, black, Asian, Latine, white and queer. We heed the voices of the American people and call on the administration to demand a permanent ceasefire.” (Some use “Latine” to refer to people of Hispanic descent without specifying gender.)

The letter goes on to say that the interns “will never forget how the pleas of the American people have been heard and thus far, ignored.”

It calls for a permanent ceasefire; the release of all hostages, “including Palestinian political prisoners”; a diplomatic solution “that will put an end to the illegal occupation and the Israeli apartheid”; and a “free Palestine.”

Tevi Troy, who was deputy secretary of health and human services under former President George W. Bush and has written several histories of U.S. presidential administrations, told JNS that he could not imagine such a letter being written under previous presidents.

“It would be inconceivable for an intern in the George W. Bush White House to issue any kind of statement objecting to White House policy, and this holds for any White House I’ve ever studied,” Troy said. “Interns are the most disposable employees in the White House and typically do everything they can to make sure they keep their positions.”

Based on official White House images of previous White House intern classes, 40 signatories would indicate that about 20% of White House interns signed the letter.

Democratic Majority for Israel, a group that advocates for pro-Israel policies within the Democratic party, posted on social media that the anonymous intern letter was disqualifying.

“Hate to say it, but interns who think they have the right to usurp the president’s role as policymaker are not wise enough to be interning anywhere, let alone in the White House,” the group said.

The White House interns join other groups of junior staffers across Washington who have spoken out against Biden administration policy and called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

In November, 554 congressional aides anonymously “signed” an open letter asking their bosses to demand a ceasefire. Many of those same congressional staffers then joined a demonstration outside the Capitol. All wore masks, and some wore hoods and sunglasses to conceal their identities.

“Our constituents are pleading for a ceasefire,” one of the unelected staff demonstrators said. “We are the staffers answering their calls every day.”

“Most of our bosses on Capitol Hill are not listening to the people they represent,” said another.

Current and former staffers for Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as 400 current Biden administration staffers, have likewise signed letters calling for a ceasefire.

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National Security Minister slams administrative arrest of Samaria resident

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold individuals without charge and without the ability to meet lawyers.


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday issued an administrative arrest warrant for a Jewish resident of Samaria’s Binyamin Region, drawing the ire of right-wing activists and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

“The third administrative arrest warrant issued to a settler since the outbreak of the war. Someone has got confused and forgot who is the enemy and who is the beloved,” Ben-Gvir tweeted.

Elisha Yered, an activist in the region and a former spokesman for Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit Party, claimed Gallant’s move was part of a concerted campaign “to eliminate the farms and hills in Judea and Samaria, which are stopping the Arab takeover of the nation’s lands.

“The campaign of persecution does not stop, even for a moment,” wrote Yered on X (formerly Twitter).

Gallant issued his own statement in response, charging that “anyone taking the law into their own hands interferes with the security services and harms the war effort.”

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold individuals without charge and without the ability to meet lawyers, a practice generally reserved for Palestinian terrorism suspects.

Activists have claimed that the number of administrative arrest warrants issued against Jews has skyrocketed since Gallant took office. The Likud Party member signed more orders than any of his predecessors since Labor’s Amir Peretz served in the post between 2006 and 2007.

The person put under arrest on Wednesday was named by activists on social media as 26-year-old Tal Yinon Dardick, a farmer and father of four from the area of Kochav Hashachar, northeast of Jerusalem.

Dardick was initially arrested by the police on Monday on unspecified charges, according to the HaKol HaYehudi news website, but was slapped with a four-month administrative detention order just hours before his remand hearing was set to take place.

An attorney for the Honenu legal aid group said the detention order was approved by Gallant due to “external pressure on the State of Israel” and claimed that the evidence against his client was “problematic.”

According to Israeli Police figures made public in November, in the period from the war’s start on Oct. 7 through Nov. 7, police registered 97 incidents of illegal activities attributed to Jews in Judea and Samaria, down from 184 offenses in the same period in 2022.

A leaked Israel Defense Forces document likewise suggests that anti-Arab violence in Judea and Samaria has been dropping.

“I ask everyone, including my American colleagues, not to use the term ‘settler violence,’ it does not represent the residents of Judea and Samaria,” War Cabinet member and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“There is violence by extremists—that should be condemned and all tools should be used against them,” Gantz stated, noting: “There are communities [in Judea and Samaria] where 80% of the men are on the front lines.”

Speaking alongside Gantz on Tuesday, Gallant said: “This phrase [‘settler violence’], which attributes the violence to a group from Judea and Samaria, is not true. I sign [arrest] orders—quite a few of the extremists come from outside Judea and Samaria.”

Their remarks came shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a “visa restriction policy” under which Washington will bar the entry into the U.S. of those accused of undermining “peace, security or stability in the West Bank.

“We have underscored to the Israeli government the need to do more to hold accountable extremist settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank,” Blinken said on Tuesday.

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Hamas and Palestinian Authority call to ban Hanukkah march in Jerusalem

The official route ends at the Western Wall Plaza and marchers will not be allowed to ascend on the Temple Mount, the police emphasized.


Some 200 Jewish activists are expected to join a contentious Hanukkah march in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday evening, the first night of the festival of lights, to protest against Jordan’s control over Judaism’s holiest site, according to organizers and the Israel Police.

In an invite shared to social media, Beyadenu—Returning to the Temple Mount, one of the nine organizations behind the event, said, “This is not just another march, not just another protest! Kick out the [Jordanian Islamic] Waqf and restore full Jewish control over the Temple Mount!”

“We won’t win this war only in Gaza,” Beyadenu wrote in the invite, calling on the Israeli government to expel “the Nazis and their friends in the Waqf” from the Mount.

Dubbed the “Maccabee March” after the Jewish heroes who led the revolt against the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire that culminated in a military victory and the rededication of the Temple almost 2,200 years ago, Thursday’s procession is scheduled to depart at 7.30 p.m. from Tzahal Square in downtown Jerusalem.

A police spokesperson told JNS that participants will pass through the Damascus Gate into the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. The official route ends at the Western Wall Plaza and marchers will not be allowed to ascend to the flashpoint Temple Mount, the police emphasized.

Muslim prayers will continue to be held as usual during all eight days of Hanukkah, and “any attempt to violate public order … will be dealt with decisively,” the spokesperson added.

Ahead of the march, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group issued a statement calling on “the Arab and Islamic nations and the brothers in the Kingdom of Jordan” to take action against what it described as an “attempt to impose Zionist control over the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“Our people will not allow it—no matter the cost,” Hamas threatened on Wednesday. “We call on our Palestinian people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the occupied interior [Israel] to mobilize.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority called for an “urgent international and American intervention to stop the extreme right-wing march” and falsely claimed that “extremist settlers” were planning to enter the mosque on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said Jerusalem’s decision to allow the march to go ahead was an “unacceptable and provocative step worthy of condemnation.”

Amman holds “the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the consequences of this dangerous escalation that coincides with the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip,” spokesman Sufian al-Qudah stated on Wednesday.

Alleged threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third-holiest and built on the site of the ancient Jewish Temples, have long been a rallying cry for terrorism. The 1929 Hebron massacre, in which Arabs murdered 67 of their Jewish neighbors, was sparked by false rumors that Jews were planning to take control of the mosque.

According to the so-called status quo on the Temple Mount, formulated by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1967, Jews may visit but not pray at the site, which is administered by the Waqf, a branch of Jordan’s Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places.

The P.A. and Hamas have turned the Temple Mount issue and the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” slogan into a major engine for inciting Muslims against the Jewish state. The incitement is conducted in the Palestinian education system, mosques, official media, and social media.

Hamas named its Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,200 people in southwestern Israel “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and claimed that its actions were a response to supposed “Israeli violations in the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Moreover, a recent survey of Palestinians in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria carried out by the Arab World for Research and Development research firm concluded that 75 percent of respondents supported the Oct. 7 slaughter of Israeli Jews, with 35% indicating that the main reason for the attack was to “stop violations of Al-Aqsa.”

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Veteran Labor Zionist calls for de-Nazifying Gaza

Changing Palestinian school books should be one in ‘a series of actions’ that would combat Palestinian extremism.

By Moshe Phillips, JNS

In another sign of the crisis wracking the Israeli left, a former Labor Party Knesset Member and adviser to Shimon Peres is proposing that Gaza undergo a process similar to the de-Nazification policy imposed by the Allies after World War II.

Einat Wilf made that proposal during a webinar late last month sponsored by the journal Sapir on “The Israel-Hamas War and the Future of Zionism.”

Wilf was joined in the broadcast by Michael Koplow, chief policy officer of the Israel Policy Forum, which was established in 1993 as a U.S. arm of the Israeli Labor Party.

At one point in the conversation, Koplow acknowledged: “I don’t have great answers for you on how to combat Palestinian hate.”

Wilf, who formerly chaired the Knesset Education Committee, responded by arguing that there is something Israel can and should do to combat Palestinian hate: It should drastically reform the Palestinian educational system.

“I think we’ve been negligent in not fighting the Palestinian ideology,” she said. “Unless we confront directly that this is an entire society and people committed to this, we are guaranteed endless wars and terrorism because it doesn’t matter if you call it Hamas or [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad or the DFLP [Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine] or Black September or Fatah or fedayeen … as long as this is the ideology, you will always have a new generation of trained murderers ready to operate on behalf of that ideology, and I actually think that we need to be very harsh in demanding a change to that ideology.”

She then pointed to the actions taken by the Allies in Germany and Japan after World War II. In postwar Japan, she noted: “The Japanese teachers and children, the students themselves, had to take their existing [school] books, not new ones, and they had to, with a black marker, erase anything that spoke of the supremacy of the Japanese race, of imperial ambitions, of emperor-worship, and they had to hold the pages against the sun, and if you could still read those words, you had to go again with the black marker.”

“Not a lot was left from those books,” she noted. “But an entire generation of Japanese children remember this as a foundational experience that made it clear that the old ideology was defunct, and they needed to move forward. … No school should open in Gaza without going through this process in the books. I think we need to finally put an end—we can’t just sit back and let it be the way we did for so many decades.”

Wilf then argued that changing Palestinian school books should be one in “a series of actions” that would combat Palestinian extremism. “I think no person should [be allowed to] go back to northern Gaza unless they sign a declaration that says they are not refugees, they have no ‘right of return,’ they don’t want to liberate Palestine ‘from the river to the sea’,” she said.

The former Labor Party member of Knesset then proposed another step: linking humanitarian aid to Gaza to a Palestinian peace pledge. All such aid should be conditioned on the recipients “giving a filmed, written declaration that for any bag of rice, any liter of fuel”; they pledge that “we are not refugees, we have no right of return to the State of Israel, we have no interest in ‘liberating Palestine from the river to the sea’; we only want to develop Gaza for its inhabitants; we want to live next to the Jewish State of Israel and not instead of it. And if they don’t sign, then no rice, no fuel, no nothing.”

The contrast between Wilf and Koplow was instructive. It reveals a great deal about how the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks have shaken up the Israeli left, including the Labor Party. The old guard, represented by Koplow, is still calling for the creation of a Palestinian state, even though he admitted that he has “no answer” for how to deal with Palestinian Arab hatred of Israel and Jews. If he has no answer, that means the Palestinian state he advocates would be a base of constant aggression against Israel.

Wilf, by contrast, represents the growing number of Israelis on the political left who recognize that in the wake of Oct. 7, things cannot continue as they were before. There has to be a fundamental change in the thinking of the Palestinian Arabs if there is to be any hope for a peaceful future. And that must begin by changing the hate-filled school books on which both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have raised entire generations of Arab children.

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Anti-Israel NYC council members ripped for ‘Ceasefire Now’ shirts

Members of the group have been called out before for their anti-Israel sentiments.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Nine New York City councilmembers came under fire Wednesday after they wore matching t-shirts to a City Hall meeting that said “Ceasefire Now.”

While it was not noted for most of the two-hour session, Brooklyn Councilman Kalman Yeger spoke up towards the end, saying sarcastically, “It’s good to see someone caring about life. If you missed them wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Ceasefire’ at any time when Hamas was raining daily missiles on Israel or any time in their 22 months that they served on this council prior to Oct. 7, I missed it too.”

Former state Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal backed Yeger up on social media, posting to X, “Astonishing to see so-called ‘progressives’ call for a ceasefire while Hamas broke a previous ceasefire because they wanted to keep the female hostages to rape them.”

On Monday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller had said that “It seems one of the reasons [Hamas] don’t want to turn women over they’ve been holding hostage, and the reason this pause fell apart, is they don’t want those women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody.”

Hamas is still holding 15 women and two children, even though the terror organization had committed to exchange all its female and underage abductees for terrorists jailed in Israel, at a 3-to-1 ratio. It did release 86 in six lots, and a further 24 male Thai hostages in a separate deal arranged through Iran, before resuming its rocket fire on Israel, thereby breaking the temporary truce.

Yeger’s outburst had no effect on his anti-Israel colleagues, as evidenced by a post by one of them to social media following the meeting.

“Proud to stand in solidarity with some of my @nyccouncil colleagues today at the Stated Meeting calling for an immediate and permanent #ceasefire,” Councilmember Jennifer Gutiérrez (D-Brooklyn) wrote as a caption on a photo of herself with the others, including Shahana Hanif and Charles Barron, who have made public anti-Israel statements in the past.

Six days after the Hamas invasion in which the terrorists massacred 1,200 men, women and children, Hanif had defended Hamas, saying, “The root cause of this war is the illegal, immoral, and unjust occupation of the Palestinian people.” The Democrat, who also officially represents the Democratic Socialists party, was arrested later that month at a “Cease Fire Now Rally for Gaza.”

Also in October, Barron, a former member of the militant Black Panther party, called himself “1,000% pro-Palestinian” and blamed Israel for the Hamas rampage in a tirade at City Hall.

The picture engendered criticism from ordinary New Yorkers as well as Yeger, who saw it in person. Some on X blasted the group for being “losers,” and “detached from reality.” Others pointed out that they should be concentrating their efforts more on local issues, such as one who wrote, “’Release the Hostages’ or ‘Hamas Must Surrender’ would help bring about a ceasefire and are far catchier than these lazy T-Shirts. Should I assume the city council has solved the mental health crisis that was being discussed ad naseum earlier this year if they have time to play dress up at the office?”

One particularly pithy poster wrote, “Ah, our best and brightest. This is what identity politics and intersectionality gets us, folks. A group of morons who have unwittingly become useful idiots for an Islamofascist death cult halfway around the world.”

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