ECI returns from New York after dramatic week at the UN – No ceasefire without release of hostages

New York, March 25th, 2024 – An ECI delegation consisting of Founding Director Tomas Sandell and Director of UN Affairs Gregory Lafitte returned from New York on Monday afternoon, just hours before the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In a statement on Monday, Sandell said that “there can be no ceasefire without the release of all hostages.” He also noted that the new UNSC resolution comes less than a day after the Jewish holiday of Purim which documents the first attempt in world history to annihilate the Jewish people. The Hamas massacre on 7th October has been called the deadliest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust.

“Just as Haman, the arch enemy of the Jewish people in the Book of Esther, failed to annihilate the Jews 2400 years ago, so will Israel’s enemies fail in their genocidal intents today,” Sandell said.

But just as Haman needed to be completely defeated to prevent an imminent genocide, the same is true for today’s terrorist groups like Hamas.

The UNSC resolution which was passed on Monday afternoon calls for an immediate ceasefire. It does not, however, condition a ceasefire on the release of hostages. Last week a US resolution tying a ceasefire to the release of all hostages was vetoed by Russia and China.

“It is a matter of grave concern when the international community fails to stop genocidal groups like Hamas and instead prevents Israel from providing for its security”, Sandell said.

He continued, “the task of dismantling the terrorist capabilities of Hamas should not be left to Israel alone but should be supported by all those in the international community who subscribe to our universal values of peace and human dignity. Either way, Israel has no other choice but to defend itself against Hamas who has called for new terrorist attacks, similar to the one on October 7.”

These threats can best be summarised in the message in the Haggadah, which is read in Jewish homes at Passover. “In each generation they rise against us and try to destroy us and the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hand.”

The message of Purim is the same this year as every year: Am Yisrael Chai, the people of Israel live.

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Von der Leyen, Weber 2024

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