His Excellency Mr. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres 
United Nations 
New York, New York 10017 


Dear Mr. Secretary-General: 

On July 31, 2023 (two months and seven days before October 7), I sent you the attached letter expressing American Jewish Committee’s deep concern over the volatile situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border brought about by Hezbollah’s provocations. We are unaware of any concrete action that either you or members of the Security Council, to whom we sent an almost identical letter, have taken to address the situation.

In your periodic reports on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), you have repeatedly referred to Israeli overflights of Lebanese airspace. In our letters to you we explained, again and again, that these overflights are necessary due to the strategic threat posed by Hezbollah, which, with an estimated arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles, has called for the destruction of Israel. We further said that the threat posed by Hezbollah is compounded by the Lebanese government’s failure to rein in this terrorist organization and the Iranian regime’s continual efforts to provide it with ever more deadly weapons, including precision-guided missiles.

You have never responded to this argument. Yet in your statement dated June 21 you said, “The parties must urgently recommit to the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 and immediately return to a cessation of hostilities,” as if both parties are equally responsible for violating resolution 1701.

Israel doesn’t deny the right of Lebanon or Iran to exist. Conversely, Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, do reject Israel’s very existence. This is the reason Hezbollah, at Iran’s encouragement, has fired thousands of missiles, anti-tank rockets, and other weapons into Israel in recent months.

Mr. Secretary-General, your statement appears to draw a moral equivalence between the parties to the conflict along the Israeli-Lebanese border. There can be no moral equivalence between those who recognize the right of other UN members to exist and those who don’t. Sadly, your statement ignores this critical distinction.


Ted Deutch


Back to Top