Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, found himself in the spotlight as he was detained by U.N. personnel for staging a dramatic protest during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's address to the U.N. General Assembly.
In a bold display of dissent, Erdan stood up as Raisi began his speech and held up a picture of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who tragically lost her life while in the custody of Iranian regime forces last year. The placard he displayed bore the message, "Iranian women deserve freedom now!" Erdan then exited the hall, making a poignant statement against the presence of a leader he views as a "vile mass murderer" on the global stage.
However, Erdan's act of protest was met with swift and, in his words, "unacceptable" brutality by U.N. personnel who detained him, sparking outrage among supporters and diplomats alike. Speaking to Fox News Digital, Erdan expressed his dismay at the U.N.'s handling of the situation, stating, "The U.N.'s lost moral compass was on full display today."
New moral stain for the UN ‼️— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) September 19, 2023
When President Raisi of Iran, the "Butcher of Tehran," began his speech, I waved a picture of Mahsa Amini, the innocent Iranian woman who was brutally murdered by the regime one year ago for not wearing a hijab "properly."
Meanwhile, outside the UN... pic.twitter.com/ZVq80Zpt9N
Erdan, known for his strong advocacy of Israel's interests, asserted that he was detained merely for "standing with the Iranian people" and condemning a leader accused of human rights abuses. He pointed out that other ambassadors have previously held signs for ideological reasons during U.N. sessions, including recent ones on the war in Ukraine, without facing any repercussions.
Mahsa Amini's tragic fate underscores the dire situation faced by some within Iran. Amini was arrested for not adhering to the mandatory head-covering law and subsequently died while in custody. Erdan's act aimed to bring attention to the plight of Iranian citizens and to condemn Raisi's presence at the U.N.
In a statement issued after the incident, Erdan expressed his disappointment in the international community for affording Raisi a platform. He implored the world to "stop the madness and prevent murderers and anti-Semites from coming and speaking here at the UN."
Erdan's protest also shed light on what he perceives as the U.N.'s "hypocrisy and moral distortion." He argued that the organization was founded with the aim of preventing atrocities, a mission he believes was betrayed by the audience Raisi received.
"While the butcher of Tehran is speaking at the U.N. and is being respected by the international community, hundreds of Iranians are protesting outside, shouting and calling on the international community to wake up and help them," Erdan said in the statement.
"It is a disgrace that member states stay to listen to a mass murderer. I left the speech to make it clear that the State of Israel stands by the Iranian people. I call on the international community to stop the madness and prevent murderers and anti-Semites from coming and speaking here at the U.N."
Before Raisi's visit to the U.S., the Israeli Consulate in New York initiated a protest campaign against him. They strategically placed life-size cutouts of Raisi around the city, reminding Americans that he is barred from visiting due to sanctions related to his alleged involvement in human rights abuses.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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