Guterres faces Israeli criticism For Defending UN

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Mr. Antonio Guterres former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees addressed the press at the stakeout after the casual meeting with member states

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres defended the United Nations against accusations of bias against Israel during a visit to Jerusalem on Monday while also condemning what he called “modern antisemitism”.
Guterres also said he was “shocked” by a recent white supremacist rally in the United States that led to harsh criticism of US President Donald Trump. Visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Monday, Guterres said antisemitism was “alive and well”.
He also referred to the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in bloodshed. Trump triggered outrage when he suggested both sides were at fault after the unrest. “I was shocked a few years ago to listen to the chant of a group of neo-Nazis in a developed country in the world, chanting ‘blood and soil,’ a slogan of the Nazis,” Guterres said.
His spokesman later clarified that he meant to say days instead of years, referring to the US rally. “And that is a dramatic demonstration that it is our duty to do everything possible to fight anti-Semitism in all its expressions.”
Guterres made similar pledges to fight anti-Semitism when he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. Netanyahu has frequently accused UN bodies of being biased against Israel and he repeated those allegations when meeting Guterres.
“I think it has an absurd obsession with Israel, flagrantly discriminatory tactics,” he said, while saying his country has a “robust democracy” that works toward the “betterment of humanity”.
Israel is frequently targeted at the United Nations over its occupation of Palestinian territory. Guterres pledged to act impartially as an honest broker. “To be an honest broker means that all countries must be treated equally,” he said.
Guterres also said: “To express that the right of existence of the state of Israel doesn’t exist or the wish to destroy the state of Israel is an unacceptable form of modern anti-Semitism.”
However, he made clear that he believed Israeli settlement building was an obstacle to peace, and when meeting Rivlin said disagreements would occur. “We will always be very frank in dialogue with the state of Israel in trying to find ways for peace to be possible in this region,” Guterres said.

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