Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Eli Cohen addresses UN Security Council

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October 24, 2023

Mr. President,

Ministers of Foreign Affairs,

Members of the Security council,

As we meet here today, young babies, children, are held in Gaza, this is beyond imagination, living a nightmare.

Ofri, 10 years old

Abigail, 3 years old

Ema, 17 years old

Raz, 4.5 years old

Aviv, 2.5 years old

Ariel, 4 years old

And Kfir, little Kfir, only 9 months.

Yuval, 8 years old.

These are just a few. A few of the many children and babies that have not seen evil, they have not caused evil, but they are victims of evil.

These kids witnessed horror which cannot be described in words.

Do I want to remember the creation of hell? The shouts of the raiders, enjoying the hunt. Cries of the wounded, begging for life.

Faces of mothers, carved with pain. Hiding children, dripping with fear.

No, I don’t want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember this world Upside-down?

Families vanished in the midst of the day.
The mass grave steaming with vapor of blood. Mothers searching for children in vain. No.

I Have to Remember and Never Let You Forget.

This heart burning poem was written by Alexander Kimel, a Holocaust survivor, in nineteen forty-two.

5 years later, The United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of the creation of a Jewish State.

The birth of the state of Israel, 75 years ago, was a clear statement:

Never Again!

Saturday, October 7th, will go down in history as nothing less than a brutal massacre.

Saturday, October 7th, is a wakeup call for the entire free world.

A wakeup call against extremism, religious fanaticism and terror.

On that day, over 1500 terrorists of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad infiltrated Israel from the South. With viciousness exceeding even ISIS, killing over 1400 babies, children, women and men and wounded over 4,000.

They went from house to house, slaughtering families and individuals in their beds, on the streets, on their way to synagogue, raping and maiming, dancing and chanting on people’s bodies. You have not been there, you haven’t seen the horror. The smell.

Let us pause for a moment, think about the many innocent people, so many of them are not yet brought to final burial. And let’s recite the immortal words of the Jewish prayer for the dead – the Kadish.

יתגדל ויתקדש שמי רבא.

This massacre will go down in history as more brutal than ISIS.

Hamas are the new Nazis.

Just as the civilized world united to defeat the Nazis, just as the civilized world united to defeat ISIS, the civilized world has to stand united behind Israel to defeat Hamas.

Let us not be mistaken about Hamas’ intentions, its charter clearly calls for the destruction and elimination of the State of Israel.

Over 220 were taken hostage. Among the hostages – children who had seen their parents murdered, Holocaust survivors, elderly in need for care and medicine.

We call for immediate ICRC access to all the hostages and their unconditional release.

Present in this room is Moran Aloni. Seven members of the family were taken hostages.

Moran’s sisters, Sharon Aloni Konio and Daniel Aloni were kidnapped with Sharon’s Husband David and their three years old twins Maya and Yuli alongside Daniel’s five year old daughter Emilia.

Early morning, Sharon wrote in her family group chat that there are Hamas terrorists in their home and that they are hiding in the safe room, a few minutes later she wrote that the terrorists set the house on fire, and they are chocking in the safe room.

A few minutes later, Moran received a private message from his sister, “we are dying, help us”.

The family received information that Sharon, Daniel, Maya, Yuli, Emilia, David and Ariel, David’s brother, are held captive by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Here with us is another family.

Hersh Goldberg Polin, a young man aged 23, one of the beautiful and innocent participants in the music festival. Hersh is seriously injured.

[Shows a cellphone]

On this phone I have the last two text messages he managed to send to his parents before he was kidnapped to Gaza: “I love you” and “I’m sorry”.

Qatar which finances and harbors Hamas leaders could influence and enable the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages held by the terrorists.

You, members of the international community, should demand from Qatar to do just that.

This meeting should conclude with a clear message, BRING THEM HOME!

I would like you to listen to this recording.

[Recording of terrorist]

Listen to this terrorist describing to his parents, what a monster they gave birth to, the many lives he has taken, bragging more than ten. Their blood, he describes, is on his hands. You hear and you can’t believe.

Those low lifes were not speaking on behalf of Islam, nor about human values, or the fight for freedom.

They were speaking on behalf of cruelty, malice and hate. And you should all ask yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, whom we face.

We – Israel – we don’t only have the right to defend ourselves, we have the duty to do so.

The West is next!

The war which was imposed on us is not only Israel’s war.

It is the war of the free world.

I hear the calls for proportionality. I hear the calls for ceasefire. Tell me – what is a proportionate response for the killing of a baby?

For the rape of a woman?

For the beheading of a child?

How can you agree to a ceasefire with someone who swore to kill and destroy your own existence?

The proportional response to October 7th massacre is the total destruction of Hamas. It is not only Israel’s right to destroy Hamas, it is our duty.

For Israel, it is a matter of survival. The free world should remember, never forget, what happened on October 7th.

Today, this barbaric terror hit Israel, tomorrow it will be at everyone’s doorstep.

The terrorists don’t have only Israel’s destruction in mind. Their dream is the entire world.

This war was imposed on us. We have not chosen this war.

But have no doubt – we are going to win it. Because this war is for life. This war must be your war as well.

As Iran’s proxy, Hamas had three main objectives to its barbarous attack:

The murder of Jews.

The kidnapping / abduction of hostages.

And derailing the expansion of peace, stability and normalization in our region.

United in will and purpose like never before, Israel must now act in an unprecedented way to ensure that Hamas objectives will never be met.

Today is the 18th day since the beginning of this war. Throughout the last 18 days, our citizens and villages were under heavy missile and rocket fire from Gaza, and not only from Gaza.

There is a clear attempt to escalate and provoke a war on our Northern Border, where Iran’s proxy Hezbollah is targeting our cities.

The objective of Hamas, its patron and collaborators is clear.

They will not succeed.

Not only from neighboring countries Israel is facing a threat.

Last week, cruise missiles were launched at Israel from Yemen. Have no illusion who is behind it and what is the reason.

I stand here in front of you saying loud and clear – this war will be won.

The international community must understand who is under attack and who is the aggressor.

Mr. President, Colleagues, Permanent Representatives,

The world is facing a clear choice of which requires moral clarity. One can be either part of the civilized world or surrender to the forces of evil and barbarism, Hamas savages and their friends. There is no middle ground, no room for moral ambiguity.

I want to thank all the governments who already designated Hamas as a terror organization and call others to do it immediately.

I want to thank the United States, President Biden and Secretary Blinken, for showing such moral clarity, for standing with Israel in word and deed, at this dark hour.

I also wish to thank the many other leaders from across the world who have come to stand with Israel at this difficult time.

The United Nation Charter, which you all signed, begins with these words:

“We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”.

Today, after the most vicious and brutal terror attack in modern history –

If all nations do not stand decisively and clearly:

by the innocent orphans left alone in the world,

by the kids that were slaughtered while dancing at sunrise,

by the Holocaust survivors murdered or kidnapped,

by Israel on our mission to eliminate the monsters from the face of the earth,

If all nations do not stand by the basic values of humanity, described in the UN Charter,

This will be the darkest hour of the United Nations as this place will have no moral justification to exist.At this difficult time for the People of Israel, we say loudly – we are strong, we will rebuild, we are determined and resolute to achieve our dream – to be a free nation, in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

It is unimaginable, that in the face of such brutal atrocities, the Palestinian Authority has not issued even a hint of condemnation.

Today I say clearly to the Palestinian Authority. Denounce violence, denounce the terrorists, end the incitement, end the hateful education, and a stop the financing of terrorists.

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