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Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 11.20 a.m.
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
The President: In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend invitations under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), concerning counter-terrorism; Ambassador César Mayoral, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities; and Ambassador Peter Burian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
It is so decided.
The President: I now give the floor to the representative of Israel.
Mr. Gillerman (Israel): Allow me, at the outset, to thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership of the Council during the month of February and for convening this very important meeting. I wish also to thank the Chairpersons of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee for their hard work, concise reports and invaluable contributions.
As we are convened here today, the world is witnessing the formation of a dangerous new alliance — indeed, an axis of terror — comprised of Iran, Syria and Hamas. As many here are quite aware, the Iranian leadership is hosting Hamas in Tehran at this very moment and has committed itself to a more active role in the Palestinian Authority. As Khaled Mashal, head of the Hamas delegation, stated during the visit, Iran “will play a major role in the shaping of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian nation in light of the many challenges facing us”. The President of Iran and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei subsequently called for a continuation of acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens. This meeting follows a recent visit by the Iranian President to Damascus, the capital of terror, which is home to the headquarters of over 10 different terror organizations. During that visit, the Iranian President used the Syrian presidential palace, which has been put at his disposal, to meet with terror organizations and plan and direct orders for specific acts of terrorism. One can only wonder what will be the real nature of this deeper Iranian involvement in the Palestinian Authority.
This new axis of terror poses a major threat to regional and world stability and is a recipe for the world’s worst pandemic. Should we neglect this imminent threat, the axis of terror may be the seed of the first world war of the twenty-first century. We call on the international community, through its relevant organs and, especially, this Council, to take seriously these joint efforts by Iran, Syria and Hamas, and act decisively and swiftly to prevent Iran, an extremist and dangerous terror-supporting regime, from acquiring the capability and know-how to develop nuclear weapons. Time is of the essence.
The provisions Hamas seeks from Iran and Syria are all the more dangerous, considering its recent political empowerment and its goal to eliminate Israel. The recent elections in the Palestinian Authority cannot whitewash the radical nature of this new ruling party. Hamas is a terror organization. It is responsible for more suicide bombings, terrorist attacks and more deaths during the current period than any other terrorist organization, murdering 482 Israelis in total, some 44 per cent of the total killed. Hamas’s goal is to strike deeply and in a deadly way, leaving its victims motherless, childless and limbless. I invite each Council member to read Hamas’s charter, which calls for killing Jews and eliminating Israel. Only last week, Hamas, whose headquarters are in Damascus, released a video where one terrorist states,
“We will hunt you everywhere, when you wake and when you sleep ... there is no better blood than Jewish blood ... [We will] quench ourselves with your blood and we will quench the thirst of our children with your blood.”
This statement was made, by the way, after Hamas’s election as the governing party of the Palestinian Authority.
The democracy of despots is a dangerous facade. To imagine Al-Qaida at the ballot box, Om Shinrikyo in the primaries, ETA celebrating an election victory and the PKK with a democratic majority are a frightening nightmare, where evil tries to pass itself off as something it is not.
The Hamas majority is not democracy; it is fanaticism propagated under the veil of democracy. Indeed, Hamas denies the very international agreements that instituted the recent elections. Israel cannot and will not recognize a terrorist regime. We will not provide legitimacy to its practices, and we call on the international community to recognize that terrorism and democracy can never coexist. As Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated on behalf of the Quartet last September, there is “a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic State” ( Press release SG/SM/10115). He further emphasized last month,
“It is the view of the Quartet that all members of a future Palestinian Government must be committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the road map.”
The international community, which recognizes the new enemy called international terrorism, should upgrade its joint efforts against the threat of terrorist organizations disguising themselves as democratic bodies. Moreover, the fight against terrorism cannot be combated by a handful of States, no matter how strong their resources may be. This dangerous phenomenon is a global crisis, and it is our moral duty to work together to combat this pandemic.
We additionally call on the international community to hold accountable States that provide safe harbour to terrorists, host its infrastructure and promote a culture of hatred and incitement. We are particularly troubled by the connection between terrorism and money-laundering, and we must work together to block the steady flow of finances that enables terrorist cells to operate. In this regard, we urge all States to join and implement the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
Israel believes that the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the Al-Qaida Committee and the 1540 Committee provide valuable assistance to the international community in enhancing its capabilities to fight terrorism. We believe it is vital to coordinate the activities of those committees in order to avoid duplication and maximize efforts.
Israel believes that the CTC should lead the way in setting the norms, priorities and primary objectives in the international fight against terrorism. We believe the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, which was declared operational last December, is already enhancing the fight against terrorism, in the spirit of resolution 1373 (2001). We view technical assistance and capacity-building as key tactics in enabling countries to improve their counter-terrorism efforts. Yet we call on the CTC to ensure that its efforts are action-oriented, and we encourage it to utilize the expertise of States with direct experience in counter-terrorism.
We commend the Al-Qaida Committee for its emphasis on State accountability. We also attach great value to the 1540 Committee. The proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, their delivery systems and related materials continues to constitute a major threat to international peace and security. We believe that resolution 1540 (2004) is an effective tool against nuclear and unconventional terrorism, and we call on the international community to implement it fully.
Israel is pleased to witness the growing — almost universal — recognition, as stated in resolution 1624 (2005), that all acts of terrorism are condemned irrespective of their motivation. The fight against terrorism cannot be held hostage to any so-called root causes. There can be no attempt to justify or excuse the use of terrorism as a weapon. There is no such thing as bad terror and good terror. Terror is terror is terror.
We hope that that sentiment will be extended during our forthcoming deliberations on the comprehensive convention on terrorism. Israel supports the goal of finalizing that convention during the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. However, it would be unfortunate should the convention be achieved only at the cost of including amendments that allow terrorist organizations and State sponsors of terrorism to argue that situations exist in which terrorism is justified. As the Secretary-General has stated, “‘terrorism committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes’ can never be accepted or justified” ( S/PV.5261, p. 3).
Somewhere, at this very moment, a terrorist’s mind is being poisoned, a terrorist’s pocket is being filled, an explosive device is being donned. Somewhere, right now, a country is polluting its youth with incitement, propaganda and an infrastructure that enables terrorism. This tragic phenomenon will only be uprooted through a concerted international effort.
We look forward to the progress of the CTC and the Executive Directorate, the Al-Qaida Committee and the 1540 Committee in leading efforts to stop this dangerous global phenomenon before more innocent lives are lost.
The President: I now give the floor to the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
Our Arab region is a victim of terrorism in general, and State terrorism in particular. This is seen in the daily terrorism that has ceaselessly, for decades, been carried out by Israel through its continued terrorist occupation of occupied Arab territories, its ongoing killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians, its destruction of their property, and its construction of a separation wall on their territory. We believe that the Israeli representative’s exploitation of this Chamber in an attempt to sell his Government’s terrorist policies and to cast doubt on what other States are doing to fight terrorism is intended to cloak Israel’s terrorist acts. We should not be silent about this matter, which has serious negative consequences. Over the past few days, Israel has killed dozens of innocent civilians; we are waiting for the Security Council to condemn those acts and to adopt measures to put a stop to them.
Damascus is the capital of peace and understanding, whence the prophet Paul spread Christianity; Damascus was the base from which that great religion was launched. Damascus is also the capital of Islamic culture and the starting point of many other great cultures. No one can deny this, least of all someone who practices terrorism day and night and who practices hatred day and night.
The work of the three Committees is of great importance for the international community. We all hope that the Security Council will continue to enhance multilateral international cooperation in safeguarding international peace and security and in eradicating terrorism in all its manifestations.
The meeting rose at 2.50 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A.