Ambassador Kodjo Menan, I would like to congratulate you on your Presidency of the Security Council this month and to thank you for convening this important meeting. I would also like to express my appreciation to the chairmen of the committees for their earlier informative briefings and for their professional work.
Israel remains under constant threat from terrorist organizations. Rockets rain on our towns and cities launched by Hamas in the south. On our northern border, Hezbollah is exploiting the crisis in Syria to further undermine regional stability.
Israel has confronted terrorism since well before its founding. For years, terrorism was an abstract concept for many in the international community. They believed acts of terror were a limited problem best dealt with locally.
Today we know that terrorism can strike anywhere at any time. It is a growth industry working around the clock to expand into new markets. Its mission is to undermine democracies and its vision is instilling fear through violence.
Like an industry, terrorism has a business development arm devoted to money laundering and fundraising. Terrorist organizations frequently have a foot in the global narcotics market, operating networks that span from West Africa to the Middle East to Latin America.
Terrorism also has a human resources division actively recruiting new members. Across the Middle East, terrorism and martyrdom are being glorified through incitement that is disseminated in schools, mosques and media outlets.
Terrorist organizations also have a well-funded marketing arm. It uses the Internet to promote every branch of the industry from recruitment to instruction and from financing to public relations.
And of course, there is the operations division that equips followers with hateful ideology and deadly weapons.
It takes an industry to defeat an industry.
Israel is working closely with many states and regional organizations to advance counter-terrorism cooperation. This reflects our belief that terrorism can only effectively be confronted through international cooperation. No state should stand alone.
The Counter-Terrorism Committees are essential to global efforts to isolate terrorists. Israel appreciates their dedicated work as well as that of other relevant UN agencies. We support all four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, all of which should be treated as a whole.
Israel commends CTED for its ongoing contributions coordinating action against terrorism. I want to thank CTED's departing Executive Director, Mike Smith - whom I don’t see here - for his many years of excellent service and leadership. Thank you Mike.
We also extend congratulations to CTED for concluding its review of member states’ implementation of SC Resolutions 1373 and 1624. Israel supports every effort to make the dialogue between CTED and member states more simple, transparent and effective.
Israel closely followed CTED’s March briefing on protecting non-profit organizations from terrorist financiers. We are painfully familiar with the exploitation of seemingly charitable funds by terrorist groups. Hamas manages a wide array of groups claiming to be social services organizations. I suppose if you consider laundering money a way of “cleaning up the neighborhood”, then this is accurate.
Israel fully supports Resolution 1540 and the renewal of its mandate. Export control systems and appropriate national counter-terrorism legislation are critical to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and dual use items.
Finally, we welcome the recent extension of the mandate of the Ombudsperson of the al Qaeda Sanctions Committee and are encouraged by the recent improvements introduced in SC Resolution 2083.
Israel is committed to sharing the knowledge and experience that comes from years of combating terrorism. Through our ongoing technical cooperation and capacity-building projects, we seek to further contribute to the international community’s counter-terrorism efforts.
Each year, Israel invites counter-terrorism specialists from other nations to learn about the latest technological advances and operational tactics in combating terrorism. These efforts establish strong ties between responsible law enforcement agencies worldwide. Countering violent extremist groups requires ongoing collaboration.
In too many corners of the planet, all of the elements are in place for extremists to grow the next generation of terrorists. In this very Council, many states offer justification for certain terrorists, while condemning others.
In Gaza, Iran is funding, training and arming Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists. Iran has helped Hezbollah build its arsenal to unprecedented levels in Lebanon, amassing 50,000 – and I repeat, 50,000 - deadly missiles. Iranian agents have been involved in attacks from Azerbaijan to India and from Thailand to Kenya. Earlier this week, a Kenyan court sentenced two Iranians to life in prison on terror-related charges.
Now we face the frightening possibility that Hezbollah could soon get its hands on Syria’s vast stockpiles of chemical weapons. The threat of game-changing weapons reaching Hezbollah is substantiated by Nasrallah himself, who yesterday said – and one should listen very carefully - I quote, “Syria will give the resistance special weapons it never had before”.
This Council must act today, not tomorrow. We will not allow Hezbollah – and I’d like to emphasize this clearly - to test our resolve. Numerous judicial findings from around the world attest to the magnitude and gravity of Hezbollah's global reach. Yet this still isn't enough for some EU members to call Hezbollah what it is – a terrorist organization. It operates with impunity on European soil, yet some European lawmakers continue to insist it is a social-services organization.
Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter sets out the Security Council's powers to maintain peace. There is no greater threat to international stability than those who use fundamentalism to advance their personal ideologies and agendas. It is time for the international community to unite and put terrorism out of business. The Security Council must further utilize Chapter Seven of the Charter to force terrorist groups to file for Chapter Seven bankruptcy. The failure to do so would be nothing less than moral bankruptcy.