Israel has no right to defend itself as it is an occupying power, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said at an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
“The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defense, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power as confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice handed down in 2004,” said the Russian representative.
Despite stating that Israel does not have the right to defend itself, Nebenzya proceeded to state that Israel does have the right to “ensure its security” and “to fight terrorism.”
“As for Israel’s security – and we recognize its rights to ensure its security – this security can only be fully guaranteed if we resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” said the Russian representative. “The Jewish people suffered persecution for many centuries and the Jewish people should know better than anyone that the suffering of ordinary people, innocent lives lost in the name of blind retribution, will neither restore justice, nor bring the dead back to life, nor console their families.”
Russia accuses US of ‘hypocrisy’ in handling of Gaza war
In a possible reference to Western criticism of Russia’s invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine, Nebenzya accused the US and its allies of “hypocrisy,” saying that “in other completely different situations are issuing appeals for the respect of humanitarian law, establishing investigation committees, imposing sanctions on those who are actually genuinely only resorting to force as a last resort to put an end to years of violence.”
Nebenzya accused Western countries of “torpedoing” efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the situation and condemned efforts by Arab states to normalize relations with Israel before the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is settled.
The Russian representative additionally stated that criticism of comments by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – in which he stated that Hamas’s October 7 massacre “did not occur in a vacuum” – was “undeserved.”