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Israel’s UN Envoy Slams ‘Despicable’ Comments Comparing Gaza to Concentration Camp

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AP/Kathy Willens

TEL AVIV – Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon lashed out at comments made by former special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi during a meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday, in which Brahimi quoted a Palestinian woman describing Gaza as a concentration camp.

Brahimi, who addressed the council as a member of the peace advocacy group The Elders, described his experiences during a trip to the Gaza Strip in 2010.

“The misery in that unhappy strip of land is difficult to describe and more difficult to endure,” the Syrian former diplomat said. “A young woman stood and told us: ‘Israel put us in a concentration camp. Those who call themselves our leaders are taking away the air we breath.’”

Brahimi continued: “Since 1967, Palestinians have endured grave acts of oppression, violence and collective punishment. Here, another dismal landmark, the tenth anniversary of the imposition of the blockade, which amounts to the collective punishment of 1.7 million people of Gaza, will be marked this year.”

Brahimi added that “the Palestinian population is extremely vulnerable and desperately needs protection from the international community.”

Danon fired back that the Security Council was providing a platform for “anti-semitic comments and vicious blood libels” and demanded that the Council reject Brahimi’s remarks.

“This obsession with Israel is beyond the pale. To accuse the Jewish state of using concentration camps is not only despicable, but it degrades the Security Council and the UN as a whole. We demand that the council renounce Brahimi’s statement immediately,” Danon said.

Later, the Israeli envoy said, “Quoting a woman was his [Brahimi’s] attempt to distance himself, but the fact is that he deliberately chose to make this comparison in the Security Council.”

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