Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations Rafael Ramirez accused Israel on Friday of carrying out a Nazi-like “final solution” on the Palestinian people during a meeting of the UN Security Council.
“What does Israel plan to do with the Palestinians? Will they be ‘disappeared’? Does Israel seek probably to wage a ‘final solution’ sort of solution as was perpetrated against the Jews?” Ramirez asked the Council.
The remark was incredibly offensive, especially as it followed on the heels of Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on Thursday. The “Final Solution” referred to Adolf Hitler’s genocidal plan to rid Germany and Europe of its entire Jewish population through systematic, wholesale murder – known today as the Holocaust.
Ramirez continued to accuse Israel of horrific crimes, saying that the Security Council could not continue to let Palestinians “suffer at the hands of an occupied power who continues to settle in their territory, demolish their homes, grab their lands, imprison their children and murder their women and children.”
Ramirez repeatedly condemned Jewish building in Judea and Samaria, calling it “unlawful” and “illegal”.
The UK’s representative at the meeting, Stephen Hickey, reacted with disgust the the comments, saying, “Whatever one’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, using language like ‘the final solution’ to describe Israeli policy is, in the United Kingdom’s view, both tactless and offensive.”
The US also weighed in against Ramirez’s inciteful rhetoric. “We reject completely any comparison between the actions of Israel and those of Nazi Germany, which we find deeply offensive,” declared the American representative. “Israel has the right to defend itself in the face of terrorism.”
Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, did not attend the meeting, but quickly condemned the statement, saying, “These are blunt anti-Semitic statements coming from the Venezuelan ambassador towards the Jewish nation.”
He added that the statements echoed the Palestinian delegation, which last month compared Israeli actions to the Nazi crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during World War II. “The Palestinians are bringing anti-Semitism to the UN and are bringing the language of racism to the world parliament,” Danon accused.
The Palestinian Authority is currently working to push a resolution through the UN condemning Israel’s communities in the West Bank. Its delegation presented a document claiming that since Israel had “occupied the West Bank” in 1967, “the Palestinian civilian population has endured systematic human rights violations, and even war crimes, by the occupying power.”
Danon countered the Palestinian proposal, calling on the Security Council “not to give legitimacy to yet another useless initiative by the Palestinians who continue to spread baseless lies about Israel.”