Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations

Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, puts a copy of the U.N. Charter through a paper shredder on May 10, 2024.

(Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

'Unhinged' Israeli Ambassador Literally Shreds UN Charter Ahead of Palestine Vote

"Shame on you," said Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan shortly before the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution supporting full membership for Palestine.

Shortly before the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution Friday supporting full U.N. membership for Palestine, Israel's ambassador took to the podium and put a prop copy of the U.N.'s founding document through a handheld paper shredder.

In a speech that one journalist described as "unhinged," Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan described Palestinians as "modern-day Nazis" and condemned the U.N. General Assembly for choosing to "reward" them with "rights and privileges."

"You are shredding the U.N. Charter with your own hands," Erdan said as he fed a small copy of the document through a miniature paper shredder. "Shame on you."


Erdan's bizarre performance came just before the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution urging the Security Council to reconsider Palestine's request to become a full U.N. member following a U.S. veto last month. Palestine is currently a nonmember observer state of the U.N.

The General Assembly voted by a margin of 143 to 9—with 25 abstentions—in support of the resolution. The nine countries that voted no were the United States, Israel, Argentina, Czechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Papua New Guinea.

In addition to backing its bid for full U.N. membership, the resolution gives Palestine "the right to introduce and co-sponsor proposals as well as amendments within the assembly," The Guardianreported.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine's permanent observer at the U.N., said ahead of Friday's vote that support for the resolution "is a vote for Palestinian existence."

"I stand before you as lives continue falling apart in the Gaza Strip," said Mansour, noting that "more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, 80,000 have been maimed, 2 million have been displaced, and everything has been destroyed" by Israeli forces over the past seven months.

"No words can capture what such loss and trauma signifies for Palestinians," Mansour added.

"The U.S. and Israel are isolated and the world is on the side of Palestine."

Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, called the U.N. General Assembly's passage of the resolution "an unprecedented move that shows once again how unbelievably isolated [U.S. President Joe] Biden has made the U.S."

In anticipation of Friday's vote, a group of Republican U.S. senators led by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) introduced legislation that would halt U.S. funding for any entity—including the U.N.—that gives Palestine "any status, rights, or privileges beyond observer status."

Current law requires the U.S. to "cut off funding to U.N. agencies that give full membership to a Palestinian state—which could mean a cutoff in dues and voluntary contributions to the U.N. from its largest contributor," The Associated Pressreported Friday.

Craig Mokhiber, a former U.N. official who resigned in October over the body's failure to act in the face of Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza, wrote that Friday's vote further shows that "the U.S. and Israel are isolated and the world is on the side of Palestine."

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