Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important open debate on
There is a specific kind of ecosystem that creates terrorism. Terrorism is
rooted in hate, watered with instability and state support, and then planted in
the next generation.
Every roadside bombing, every suicide attack, and every act of terrorism
begins with words and thoughts of hate. It begins with Al Qaida websites that
turn suicide bombers into Jihadi celebrities. It begins with Hezbollah summer
camps that use arts and crafts to glorify martyrdom and teach bomb-making skills
It begins with statements by Hamas leaders like Atallah Abu Al Subh, who
recently said on public Palestinian television, (and I quote) “The Jews are the
most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth.”
This is the poison that is being fed to people across the Middle East, day after
So I want to take the opportunity of this debate to ask the simple question:
how do we truly counter terrorism? Yes, we must combat terrorists wherever they
seek to strike. Yes, we must attack terrorist infrastructure, and go after those
who support and finance terrorism.
However, true counter-terrorism must also begin by disrupting the ecosystem
of extremism in which terror thrives. It means advancing education that teaches
peace, not hate, and mutual understanding, not martyrdom. It means speaking out
against incitement and all forms of terrorism, even when it is politically
We are far from that reality. In too many corners of the planet, extremists
have the tools to grow the next generation of terrorists. In this very Council,
some states offer justification for certain terrorists, while condemning others.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, and the
1540 Committee all remain essential parts of the global effort to isolate
terrorists and deny them the means to inflict harm.
Israel appreciates the work of the UN's counter-terrorism agencies. The UN
has expanded its counter-terrorism efforts over the past decade - in particular
by coordinating and facilitating technical assistance to member states.
Israel is proud to be an active partner and donor in these efforts. We
continue to share the knowledge and experience that comes through years of
combating terrorism. We remain committed to implementing the relevant Security
Council resolutions, and to that end, we recently submitted our periodic report,
in accordance with Resolution 1540. We also support the UN Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy. All four pillars of this strategy must be treated as
Israel is working closely with many states and regional organizations to
advance counter-terrorism cooperation in areas from aviation security to border
protection to terrorist financing. These activities reflect our fundamental
belief that terrorism can only effectively be confronted through international
cooperation. No state should stand alone.
It takes a network to beat a network. The challenge we face is growing as a
result of an increasingly linked network of smuggling rings, transnational
criminals, and terrorists.
Ayman Juma was recently indicted in a U.S. court for smuggling 85 tons of
cocaine into the U.S. and for laundering $850 million for a Mexican drug cartel.
He took a 14 percent commission for these efforts on behalf of his bosses, the
Hezbollah terrorist organization.
Juma is one of many thousands of Hezbollah operatives in a network that spans
from West Africa to the Middle East to Latin America to Europe. This global
criminal network funds Hezbollah’s terrorist activities, and provides the
logistical support to carry them out.
Make no mistake. There is a direct connection between powder cocaine smuggled
from Latin America and the gunpowder of Hezbollah weaponry in Lebanon.
Criminals are not the only supporters of terrorists. Many states - including
some in this hall - work hand-in-hand with them as well. Iran stands chief among
Across the African continent, Iranian weaponry has become the tool of choice
for some of the region's bloodiest insurgencies and terrorists.
In Gaza, Iran
is funding, training and arming Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists,
giving them the capabilities to strike Israel’s largest cities. Iran's
politicians and military commanders boast about providing terrorists with this
assistance. The head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza said last November (and I quote)
"the entire world knows that Iran
is the main source of our weapons."
Iran has also helped Hezbollah to build its arsenal to unprecedented levels in
Lebanon, amassing 50,000 deadly missiles - in flagrant breach of resolution
1701. These weapons can reach all of Israel and well beyond. Hezbollah
intentionally stores its weapons in civilian areas. Just last month, a large Hezbollah weapons storage facility exploded in the
Lebanese village of Tair Harfa, just 300 meters from a school. The people of
Lebanon are more valuable to Hezbollah and Iran as human shields than as human
We face the frightening possibility that Hezbollah could soon get its hands
on Assad's vast stockpiles of chemical weapons. This Council must act today, not
tomorrow. We have a responsibility to prevent the world’s most dangerous weapons
from falling into the hands of the world’s most dangerous actors.
This Council cannot turn a blind eye to those states that sponsor, support,
and arm terrorists. The international community must hold them accountable for
the violence that they spread - and the lives that they have taken.
We have passed many resolutions in these halls in the global fight against
terror. Our collective efforts cannot end there. The voices of the victims of
terrorism call to us. They demand our united action.
We must take the words from the printed page and breathe life into them every
day. We must be steadfast. We must be strong. We must, as Churchill said, "seek
victory however long and hard the road may be." We cannot rest until the evil
ideologies that fuel terror become nothing more than relics of the past.
Thank you, Mr. President.