The Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs today deplored United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s criticism of Israeli self-defense measures in the Gaza Strip. Calling these measures “contrary to international humanitarian law”, his remarks ignored the Palestinian suicide bombings that took place in Tel Aviv early last Wednesday morning, to which these measures were a necessary response. The Palestinian attack in Tel Aviv, perpetrated near the American Embassy, resulted in three people being killed and nearly fifty wounded. The Secretary General’s comment is in keeping with persistent barrage of one-sided UN statements and resolutions against Israel that undermine the credibility and relevance of the UN itself. Made the day the “road map”, which casts the UN in a prominent role, was presented to the parties, this comment again exposes UN prejudice against Israel.
“This statement is particularly distressing in view of the fact that there are currents attempts to restart peace talks,” said Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs. “By criticizing Israel’s attempt to defend herself without condemning Palestinian terrorism, Secretary General Kofi Annan’s comments, in keeping with the long time UN anti-Israel bias, prejudice the delicate peace negotiation process. Israel did not ask for this war, but is compelled to defend herself against the repeated murderous attacks on her citizens. The cynicism and hypocrisy of the United Nations is again evidenced by labeling Israel’s attempt to rout out terrorism as contradictory to ‘the international community’s efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.’ As President Bush stated in his June 24th speech, Palestinians must cease and desist from all acts of violence and end all acts of terror if a genuine and lasting peace is to be achieved. Recent experience has shown that fruitful peace negotiations cannot be held while Palestinian terrorist attacks are simultaneously being perpetrated against Israel. Secretary General Annan should refrain from one-sided criticisms of Israel while neglecting to condemn Palestinian terrorism if the United Nations wants to retain its integrity. The United Nations must cease to be an instrument of Israel-bashing, manipulated by anti-Israel forces into minimizing Palestinian terrorism.”