TEL AVIV – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week reiterated his recognition of historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and vowed to counter anti-Israel bias at the international body.
Guterres made his remarks during a meeting with World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald Lauder in New York.
According to a statement released by the WJC, Guterres reaffirmed comments he had made on Israel radio, in which he said, “It is completely clear the temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”
He added, “No doubt that Jerusalem is, today, a holy city for three religions. These are the facts that nobody can deny.”
Guterres met Lauder hours after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) met for Agenda Item 7, which mandates a discussion on Israeli human rights abuses at every session. The U.S. boycotted the debate, protesting Agenda Item 7 for singling out Israel.
Lauder told the secretary-general it was “obscene” that the General Assembly last year passed 20 anti-Israel resolutions and only six others condemning every other country in the world.
“The UN was built on the broken bones of the Jewish people after World War II. … It is an institution dedicated to making sure that what happened in the Holocaust never happens again,” he told Gueterres. “So it is particularly outrageous that the UN has been hijacked by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state.”
Guterres responded that he would “act with impartiality” on matters relating to Israel, but said he could not prevent the UNHRC from passing anti-Israel resolutions.
A few days earlier, the secretary-general demanded that a UN report accusing Israel of apartheid be removed from the world body’s website.