Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Gilad Erdan, has made a powerful statement by announcing that he and his team will wear yellow stars at Security Council sessions until the council condemns the “atrocities” committed by Hamas on October 7. Erdan accused the international body of inaction and silence over the attack on the Jewish state. In an impassioned speech to the council, Erdan wore a yellow star bearing the words ‘never again’ and reminded the council that staying silent in the face of evil is a dishonor to Holocaust victims. He stated that he and his team will continue wearing the yellow stars until the council wakes up and condemns the actions of Hamas.
The Security Council, consisting of 15 members, has so far failed to adopt any resolutions regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group. This lack of action has raised concerns about the effectiveness and urgency of the international body’s response to the situation.
Wearing the yellow star is a poignant and symbolic gesture. Throughout history, Jewish people have been forced to wear yellow stars or badges as a means of identifying them as outsiders. Nazi Germany infamously used this practice during World War II and throughout the Holocaust. By wearing the yellow star, Erdan and his team are bringing attention to the plight of the Jewish people and the need for the international community to take action against acts of violence and hatred.
In his speech, Erdan highlighted the alarming similarities between the actions of Hamas and the Nazi regime. He stated that these “radical Nazi Islamists” chant slogans such as “Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to England!” He also referred to the Hamas attackers as “Hamas Nazis.” The Israeli officials claim that the assault on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
Erdan’s call for condemnation and action is not without controversy. Last week, he called for the resignation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after Guterres made a statement acknowledging that the Hamas incursion into Israel did not occur in a vacuum. Guterres also criticized the Israeli government for its actions, stating that they violated international humanitarian law. This has further escalated tensions and disagreements within the international community.
Israel’s response to the attack has been a massive bombardment of Gaza, which has led to a significant death toll. Gaza’s health ministry reported that the death toll in the coastal enclave has surpassed 8,300. The situation has drawn international condemnation and calls for de-escalation and the protection of civilians.
Erdan’s pledge to wear the yellow star at UN sessions has drawn criticism from Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to Holocaust victims. The center’s director, Dani Dayan, argued that wearing the yellow star dishonors both the victims of the Holocaust and the state of Israel. Dayan emphasized that the yellow patch symbolizes the helplessness of the Jewish people during the Holocaust but highlighted that today, Israel is an independent country with a strong army.
Erdan’s symbolic act carries significant weight and serves as a reminder that the atrocities committed during the Holocaust must not be forgotten. It also emphasizes the need for the international community to take decisive action against acts of violence and hatred in the present day. The controversy surrounding his pledge further highlights the complexities and divisions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the difficult task of finding a resolution that ensures the safety and well-being of all parties involved.