The UN General Assembly - New York, 7 June 2012
Thank you, Mr. President for convening this important discussion.
Eli Wiesel once said, "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." His words call to us at moments like this.
It doesn't matter where you come from, or what politics you preach, or what faith you belong to - no decent human being can stay silent in the face of what is happening in Syria.
The people of Syria are not the indiscriminate victims of a natural disaster. They are not the tragic fatalities of a famine. They are not the accidental casualties of war. They are the deliberate targets of a brutal regime that will commit any crime and cross any line to cling to power.
We hear the words spoken in today's debate, but the appalling images and stories coming out of Syria are what stick in our minds. This morning I hear the cries of the infants massacred in Houla. I see the pleading eyes of the children of Homs, desperate and terrified beyond belief. I try to put myself into the shoes of the families whose loved ones have disappeared into Assad's torture chambers - and will never be heard from again.
Today I urge this Assembly to think of each man, woman, and child slaughtered by the Syrian Government in the past 15 months. It grows larger month by month, day by day, hour by hour. More than 4,000 have been killed since the General Assembly last discussed this issue. How many more innocents must die before the world acts?
The pictures coming out of Syria serve as a moral call to every person and every nation in the world. Nowhere is that call more clear than here at the United Nations, which was founded primarily to safeguard the principles of human rights, dignity and life.
Today, on behalf of the Israeli people and the Jewish people, I say directly to the Syrian people: we hear your cries. We are horrified by the crimes of the Assad regime. We extend our hand to you.
Assad is not the only one with the blood of the Syrian people on his hands. Iran and Hizbullah sit on his advisory board, offering guidance on how to butcher the Syrian people more efficiently. They direct an army of mercenaries that work on his behalf. Today Iranian Revolutionary Guards are funneling weapons to his troops. Hezbollah operatives are firing at his people.
Before our eyes we see a trio of brutality. Assad, Ahmadinejad, and Nasrallah are joined by an extremist and hateful ideology. The future of this trio of brutality depends on crushing the hopes and dreams of millions throughout the region. The international community cannot allow them to continue operating with impunity. The costs of further delay and division are clear. With each day that passes, the unbearable price for the Syrian people rises. The trio of brutality must be held to account.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: Bashar al-Assad has no moral authority to govern. The international community must recognize that the hourglass of the Assad regime has run out - and seize this as an hour of action. It is high time for the voices of the victims in Syria to finally unite the voices of the world against the tyrant of Damascus. Our common humanity binds us to them. Their fate is in our hands.
Thank you, Mr. President.