Today, U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon landed in Jerusalem for a final visit before the end of his term. During his 10-year stint as Secretary General, he has seen Palestinian “innovation” flourish. From bus suicide bombings, to rocket fire, and their latest “terrorvation” – underground terror tunnels.
While in Israel, will Mr. Ban condemn the Palestinians digging these terror tunnels and aiming rockets at Israeli children in towns like Sderot? Will he unequivocally condemn the terror attacks in the midst of our cities? Will he speak out at all against the ongoing incitement and hatred so prominently displayed in the Palestinian territories? The answer is – unlikely.
During Operation Protective Edge (2014), Mr. Ban visited the region while Israel faced hundreds of terrorist rockets raining down on its cities and towns and dozens of terror tunnels designed to murder our children. The Secretary General arrived on a private jet financed by the government of Qatar. Conveniently enough, he chose to disregard the fact that every rocket flying out of Gaza has the same Qatari wings as the plane he arrived on and that every terror tunnel dug, bears the imprint ‘courtesy of Qatar’.
All these facts make it highly unlikely that Mr. Ban will use his influence to stop incitement, end terrorism, or move us any closer to a lasting peace in the Middle East.
Through my four and a half years at the United Nations, I have gotten to know Secretary Ban personally. He is a good and decent man, but he has found himself under pressure supporting a very bad cause. The Secretary-General has proven his willingness to downplay or simply ignore tragic events as well as supporters and instigators of violence in an apparent effort to appease and get along with some of the world’s most brutal regimes, and the extreme and hateful ideologies that they represent.
During my tenure as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I learned a great deal about the world body’s hypocrisy, its duplicity, and the triple standard it applies to world affairs – one for dictatorships, one for democracies, and a special critical standard designed only for Israel.
There are dozens of examples of this bias in action. Below are just a handful of examples:
Secretary-General Ban has been easily intimidated by the Arab Group and its allies in the non-aligned movement, which constitute a numerical majority in the UN’s General Assembly. He almost broke a guinness record for the quickest retraction when he apologized to the Moroccan government for describing the country’s annexation of Western Sahara as an “occupation.”
The Secretary-General again succumbed to Arab pressure to stay silent as Leila Zerrougi, his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict who is also by coincidence an Algerian, produced a report suggesting that Israel be added to the U.N.’s list of terrorist groups, which includes Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Mr. Ban was quick, however, to remove Saudi Arabia – a leading peddler of radical Islam and a known “human rights and women’s rights “advocate”- from the same list.
In a Security Council speech earlier this year, Mr. Ban gave terror a very unnecessary tail wind and blamed Israel for the latest wave of brutal Palestinian terrorist attacks, arguing it is “human nature to react to occupation.”
Nowhere is anti-Israel bias more obvious than in the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. The council addresses the human rights abuses of all countries in the world under a program known as Agenda Item 4. That is, all countries but one. Israel is the only nation that is singled out for criticism. We have our own Agenda Item 7 at each and every meeting. A result, according to the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, is that more than 50 percent of all condemnatory resolutions are directed at the Jewish state.
The United Nations, once a beacon of hope in the dark days following the conflagration of World War II and the Holocaust, has been overrun by repressive regimes that violate human rights and consistently undermine international security. It is clear that the inmates have taken over the asylum and the warden has been glad to give them the keys.
Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.” If Mr. Ban wants to be remembered as a champion for the values that led to the establishment of the United Nations, the same values that South Korea shines on East Asia, then he must seize this last opportunity to condemn terrorism, expose hatred and support those of us on the right side of history.
Hopefully, as he tours Israel and hears the sirens signaling impending terrorist attacks, Mr. Ban will finally be inspired to stand up for what is right