ZOA Criticizes UN Chief Kofi Annan & Others For Attending Palestine Day Ceremony Featuring Map Without Israel & Honoring Terrorists
December 9, 2005

ZOA urges all Jewish leaders
& rabbis to condemn UN leaders

The ZOA has strongly criticized the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, as well the presidents of the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council and other dignitaries for attending a U.N. “Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” at which a minute of silence was observed for all those who have fallen in the Palestinian cause (which obviously includes terrorists) and in which a large “Map of Palestine” on which Israel does not exist was displayed prominently behind the dais.

The ceremony was held at the U.N. headquarters in New York and was attended by the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the presidents of the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly. The ceremony commenced with the dignitaries present being asked by the master of ceremonies, “I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people.”

According to Anne Bayefsky, law professor at York University and fellow at the Hudson Institute, who reported on the event for the organization, Eye on the UN, the ceremony’s wording was aimed at giving honor to the worst of Palestinian terrorists. “It was a moment … crafted to include the commemoration of suicide-bombers,” Bayefsky wrote. In response to the event, Bayefsky and her organization have once again asked the U.S. to withhold funding from the U.N. (Arutz 7, December 7).

The ZOA has written a letter to Secretary-General Annan, signed by National President Morton A. Klein, Chairman of Board of Directors Dr. Michael Goldblatt and Chairman of National Executive Committee, Dr. Alan Mazurek stating, “We fail to understand how it is possible for you to have attended an event in which a ‘Map of Palestine’ was displayed prominently behind the dais at which you appeared from which Israel’s existence was expunged. We urge you to make an immediate explanation to Israel and the Jewish community for this inappropriate action. We also urge you to publicly criticize the Palestinian Arabs for displaying a map at a U.N. event which is devoid of Israel.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We strongly criticize this U.N.-sponsored event and the Secretary-General, the presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council and other dignitaries for attending it. The U.N. has again dishonored itself and the ideals of its founders by this high-profile ceremony displaying a ‘Map of Palestine” in which Israel does not appear and honoring the Palestinian Arabs, whose Palestinian Authority (PA) regime refuses to fulfill any of its obligations under the Roadmap, including dismantling, disarming and arresting terrorists and ending the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews within the PA.

“How is it possible that the United Nations, founded on the ideal of protecting the rights of all states and peoples to exist and of which Israel has been a member state for 56 years, permit a ceremony with a moment of silence ‘in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people’ when a substantial number of Palestinian fatalities in the past five years of the Palestinian terrorist war have been terrorists, suicide bombers, gunmen, snipers and bomb-makers? It must also be clearly understood that if Palestinian Arabs were not murdering innocent Jews almost every week, there wouldn’t be one Jewish rifle shooting one Jewish bullet at any Palestinian Arab. At this event, there was certainly no effort made to distinguish between dead terrorists and innocent Palestinian civilians who have lost their lives as a result of the on-going Palestinian Arab war against Israel.

“This outrageous exhibition, not to mention the six anti-Israel resolutions that were recently passed by the U.N., demands a reassessment of whether the U.N. has really turned a corner on its decades of anti-Israel actions. We do not ask for special privileges for Israel, only genuine equality in the family of nations and appropriate support for its legitimate rights, its right to exist free of terrorist assault included.

“The ZOA strongly urges the Bush Administration to further the excellent efforts already made by the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton to pressure the U.N. to cease its long-standing, multi-faceted campaign to demonize the state of Israel and to glorify those fighting for its destruction. It is clear that only maximum pressure, including the potential withholding of the large U.S. contribution to the U.N. budget, has any hope of defeating the entrenched forces within the U.N. system that permitted the latest ‘Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’ to take place.

“The ZOA calls upon Secretary-General Annan to publicly apologize for dignifying this disgraceful event with his presence complete with a “Map of Palestine” from which Israel’s existence is expunged on prominent display behind him and for raising no protest for the observance of a minute of silence on behalf of people, many of whom were terrorists. His attendance at this event and acquiescence to its proceedings sends a clear message to terrorists that terrorism pays and confers respectability on suicide bombers and other terrorists.”

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