While making a resounding denouncement of terrorism, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has cited the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit. Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit.
Speaking at the Security Council meeting on Palestine on Tuesday, he said that terrorist acts are “unlawful and unjustifiable whether they target people in Nairobi or Bali, in Luxor, Istanbul, or Mumbai, in New York or Kibbutz Be’eri”.
“They’re unlawful and unjustifiable whether they are carried out by IS, by Boko Haram, by al-Shabaab, by Lashkar-e Taiba, or by Hamas. This Council has a responsibility to denounce member states that arm, that fund, and train Hamas or any other terrorist group that carries out such horrific acts.”
Rejecting attempts to equivocate on the Hamas terrorism that killed over 1,400 people in Israel and had more than 200 kidnapped on October 7, Blinken said: “As this Council and the UN General Assembly have repeatedly affirmed, all acts of terrorism are unlawful and unjustifiable.”
Outlining the worst of the Hamas attack like the execution of children before their parents, the beheading of young people and the burning of families alive, Blinken said that “we have to ask – indeed it must be asked – where is the outrage? Where is the revulsion? Where is the rejection? Where is the explicit condemnation of these horrors?”.
“We must affirm the right of any nation to defend itself and to prevent such horror from repeating itself. No member of this council – no nation in this entire body – could or would tolerate the slaughter of its people.”
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Munir Akram reacted swiftly to the mention of 26/11, LeT and Hamas, and said without directly naming the US:“Some in this Council have offered protection to their allies who are oppressing occupied people in Palestine and in Kashmir.”
Blinken defended the right of Israel itself in the face of the brutal attack by Hamas, but added: “It means Israel must take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians.”
As for Hamas, he said that it should not use civilians “as human shields”.
Some have suggested that Western countries have double standards in how they view Palestinian and Israeli lives.
Blinken said: “There is no hierarchy when it comes to protecting civilian lives. A civilian is a civilian is a civilian, no matter his or her nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, faith.
“That’s why America mourns the loss of every single innocent life in this crisis, including innocent Israeli and Palestinian men, women, children, elderly people, Muslims, Jews, Christians, people of all nationalities and faiths, including at least 35 UN staff members.”