The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest mainstream Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today applauded U.S. support for Israel’s demands for the United Nations to turn over the videotape that shows the possible kidnappers of the three Israeli soldiers abducted last October on the Lebanese border. U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the UN Cameron Hume told the United Nations Security Council that the tape should be made public.
“We deplore the UN refusal to turn over the tape to the Israeli government, as requested by both Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer,” said Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs. “The UN assertion that it would compromise UN neutrality in southern Lebanon is, in effect, a capitulation to the threat of Hezbollah and negates the defense of human rights as called for by the United Nations Charter. The very fact that the UN would be concerned with protecting the identities of those members of Hezbollah who kidnapped Staff Sergeants Binyamin Avraham and Omar Souad, and Sergeant Avi Avitan is a gross violation of the United Nations’ mandate. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was in complete compliance with UN Resolution 425, we believe that the UN has a special responsibility in this case to make sure that those who are responsible for the kidnapping of the three Israeli soldiers are brought to justice.”
“We call on the United Nations to live up to its responsibility as the world body that stands for humanitarian concerns and to release the tape in its possession. Any surrender to threats by terrorist groups such as Hezbollah that has unlawfully kidnapped these Israeli soldiers and is holding them hostage to their demands casts serious doubts over the world body’s integrity,” added Ehrenberg.