Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations accused Israel of genocide and compared Gaza to Nazi concentration camps.
The ambassador also dismissed Wednesday’s possible indictment of Sudanese President al-Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur as a Western ploy.
"Israeli aggression…is a terrible situation that has never happened in the history of mankind...it is similar to the concentration camps…," Libya’s deputy permanent UN representative, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told journalists at a briefing about the UN Security Council’s agenda for the month of March.
Libya holds the presidency of the 15-member council for this month.
When asked how he can compare Gaza to the systematic murder of millions of people in Nazi camps, Ambassador Dabbashi stood by his remarks.
"This is not genocide when 1,500 [Palestinians] were killed in a matter of a few days, in 22 days, 5,000 were injured?" He said that no one is above the law, "whether it is in Israel or in any other place in the world."
Mark Kornblau, the spokesman for the U.S. mission to the U.N., condemned the remarks.
"Libyan Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi's anti-Semitic and appalling statement is so ugly and absurd that it is impossible to take him seriously," said Kornblau.
However, noticeably missing from Libya’s calendar of scheduled events in the Security Council were deliberations over Sri Lanka, where some 2,000 civilians have been killed in recent fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels, according to Human Rights Watch and other sources.
There is no entry for March 4th on the calendar, the day that International Criminal Court (ICC) judges are expected to respond to a request by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo for an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for his role in the bloody campaign in Darfur that, according to international experts, has killed 200,000 people and left 2.7 million homeless.
Sudan is a member of the 22-member Arab Group at the UN and Libya, a fellow member, has consistently blocked attempts to condemn Khartoum for the atrocities in Darfur.
In May 2006, after renouncing terrorism and abandoning its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, the United Stated restored diplomatic relations with Libya.
Decades of pariah status with the West ended and Libya was elected to the Security Council in January 2007 for a two-year term.
The Arab Group at the UN always has a representative on the council, which leads to regular council sessions and resolutions focused on criticizing Israel on behalf of the Arab Palestinians.
The resolutions tend to be biased and one-sided against Israel. Security Council seats are based on a regional process that requires consensus among countries. Surrounded by Arab countries, Israel has never held a seat on the council.