Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
© Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFPIsraeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
The country's envoy to the UN has attacked Russia over the Ukraine conflict and its diplomatic contacts with Hamas.

Russia has sided with enemies of the "free world" that seek global instability and have weaponized the UN against Israel, the Jewish state's permanent representative to the organization has claimed. Moscow has dismissed Gilad Erdan's accusations as "delirium."

The senior diplomat levelled multiple accusations at Moscow in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, the two-year anniversary of open Russian-Ukrainian hostilities. Erdan effectively equated Russia with Hamas, and criticized Moscow for having contacts with the Palestinian militant group.
Both of our countries - Ukraine and Israel - are fighting a battle for our survival. We are now living in an era during which forces of instability act with impunity, international law be damned, morality be damned, and peace and security be damned!" he proclaimed.
Israel's military campaign in Gaza was launched in retaliation to the deadly Hamas incursion last October. It has been globally criticized for causing disproportionate harm to civilians. The UN's International Criminal Court ruled last month that Israeli forces were "plausibly" committing genocide against Palestinians, having reviewed evidence submitted by South Africa. A month later, Israel is defying the court's order to change its policies, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said on Monday.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva endorsed the allegation earlier this month, causing a diplomatic rift with Israel. The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has repeatedly criticized Israel's handling of the conflict, arguing that it undermined the West's credibility as a champion of human rights. Even US President Joe Biden has voiced concerns, even as he endorsed Israel's "right to defend itself."

Erdan claimed the UN serves as "a weapon against freedom and liberty." The Security Council is "paralyzed in the face of violence, and the entire UN system is being held hostage by political interests," he insisted.

Since October, the US has repeatedly used its UNSC veto to block draft resolutions that called for a ceasefire in Gaza. The Israeli envoy was however referring to the UNSC's failure to designate Hamas a terrorist organization.

The envoy accused Russia of "moving closer" to the "global forces of destabilization" and "regimes" in Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela. These countries "are now standing in solidarity as the free world stands on the sidelines divided," he claimed. Meanwhile, Ukraine and Israel are "the canaries in the coal mine" for it.

Moscow has condemned violence against civilians by both Hamas and Israel. It has accused Israel of stonewalling the UN-endorsed plan to create a Palestinian national state, which Russia perceives as the core of the conflict.

Russian deputy envoy to the UN Dmitry Polyansky, commenting on Erdan's speech on X, wrote: "Delirium continues... A week ago we heard from Israeli Representative that "United Nations is Hamas". Today - that Russia is Hamas."

Ukraine and Israel "are definitely fighting the same battle - against humanity and international humanitarian law," he said on Tuesday.