Annan promised ZOA action on
Res. 1559 — but did nothing
KOFI ANNAN & UN’S BIGOTED CONDUCT TOWARDS JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL ACCELERATES
New York – The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other high UN officials have shown themselves to be biased and bigoted against the Jewish state of Israel. This conduct has accelerated recently. Annan has condemned Israel repeatedly for inadvertently killing innocent Lebanese civilians, as a result of Hizballah intentionally embedding its forces and weaponry in densely populated civilian areas (in violation of Protocol I (1977) to the Geneva Convention, Article 51(7). At the same time, Annan has failed to condemn Hizballah for its deliberate, daily targeting of innocent Israeli civilians, which has killed scores of men, women and children and maimed hundreds more. He has also failed to express his support and sympathy for Israeli civilians in the unprovoked horrors they are experiencing every day.
Kofi Annan has also never taken issue with the claims of Hizballah that Israel is an illegal entity, although, as Secretary-General of the UN, he is in a unique position to remind people that the UN itself mandated the creation of Israel in 1947. Nor has Annan described, much less condemned, Hizballah or Hamas as being terrorist organizations, although he regularly condemns Israel’s elimination of terrorist leaders, like that of Hamas’ Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in March 2004, which he described as an “assassination” (i.e., an unlawful act, not a counter-terrorist action).
Additionally, last November, Annan attended with other UN high officials a UN “Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” at which a large “Map of Palestine” from which Israel had been erased was displayed prominently behind the dais. Annan made no criticism or mention of the map in his address to the audience and rose with others when called upon by the master of ceremonies to “observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people” — thus including all Palestinian terrorists and suicide bombers (Israel National News, December 7, 2006).
During the current hostilities in Lebanon, Annan and other high UN officials have made many biased and prejudicial attacks upon Israel . Annan has not only condemned Israel for allegedly “excessive” and “disproportionate” use of force, but twice accused Israel of targeting non-combatants before taking any evidence in either matter. In the first such case, when UN personnel were killed by an Israeli strike, Annan accused Israel of “apparently deliberate targeting” of them (UN Office of the Secretary-General, Statement, July 25). This is an accusation he has failed to retract, despite contrary evidence from a UN peacekeeper on the scene, who stated that there “has not been deliberate targeting [by Israel], but [this] has rather been due to tactical necessity” (CTV News Net, July 26).
In the second case, when Lebanese civilians were killed in Qana, Annan condemned Israel for allegedly committing “grave breaches of international humanitarian law” and for having “torn the country to shreds,” before waiting fo r the facts to emerge, which later showed that it was unclear if the civilians had been killed by direct Israeli action or the Hizballah terrorists themselves, or the true extent of the number of casualties (Michael Widlanski, Independent Media Review & Analysis, August 1).
In stark contrast to his outspoken criticisms of Israel, Kofi Annan has said little about belligerent, racist and genocidal statements and attacks upon Israel and taken little or no action on these. He has been silent on the genocidal statements by Hizballah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah stated publicly in 2002, ‘if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide’ (The Daily Star, October 23, 2002). During the current hostilities, Hizballah has repeatedly urged Arabs to leave Israeli cities and explicitly expressed regret only for the deaths of non-Jewish Israeli civilians, but Annan has had not a word to say about Hizballah’s viciously racist contempt for innocent Jewish life. He has also said and done nothing about Iran openly and repeatedly calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Calls for the destruction of a UN member state are prohibited under the UN Charter, and Annan has every right and obligation to call for Iran to be expelled from the UN for making these calls.
Annan’s biased statements have been mirrored by other high UN officials:
- Mark Malloch Brown, Deputy-Secretary-General : Denied that Hizballah is a terrorist organization, saying, “It is not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism … [Hezbollah is] completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.” (Financial Times (London), August 1).
- Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs & Emergency Relief Coordinator: “The excessive and disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces…must stop” (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 28).
- Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR):
“The bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable,” suggesting that Israel was perpetrating “war crimes and crimes against humanity” for violating the “obligation to protect civilians during hostilities” (UNHCHR, July 19).
- Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy , U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict: “Strongly condemned the repeated attacks on civilians, and especially on children, noting that callous disregard for the lives of children has permeated this conflict from its start” (UN Press Release).
- Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF: Claimed that Israel is engaged in “the continued targeting of civilians, particularly children” (UNICEF Press Release, July 30).
- Agha Shahi, Pakistani member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: “Would Israel have resorted to the bombing of civilian infrastructure if it were fighting a non-Arab force? It was a war between different ethnic groups, the Arabs and the Jews” (UN Office at Geneva, Press Release, August 3).
- Jose Francisco Calitzay , Guatemalan member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Commenting on events in Lebanon, Calitzay said “mass genocide was the highest level of racism that could exist, and they had to prevent that from happening in the present case” (UN Office at Geneva, Press Release, August 3).
- Mahmoud Aboul-Nasr, Egyptian member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: “Hezbollah was not a terrorist organization; it was a resistance movement that was fighting foreign occupation, just as there had been during the Second World War” (UN Office at Geneva, Press Release, August 3).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said , “The record is replete with evidence that Kofi Annan and the UN bureaucracy are deeply and consistently biased and bigoted against the Jewish state of Israel while being soft-spoken or silent about terrorism and aggression towards Israel and calls for the Jewish state’s destruction. Annan has shown himself willing to condemn as unlawful legitimate Israeli acts of self-defense. He has shown that he is willing to prematurely judge Israeli actions before assembling proper evidence in particular cases.
“When I myself met with Kofi Annan in his office last summer, I specifically raised with him the fact that nothing had been done by the UN to see that Hizballah be disarmed and Lebanon act to prevent the use of its territory for attacking Israel, as required by Security Council Resolution 1559. Annan assured me that he viewed it as very important that 1559 be implemented and undertook to act upon it — but he has said and done nothing since, despite the inaction of Lebanon in fulfilling 1559. At that same meeting, I asked Annan about the pernicious incitement to hatred and murder of Jews in the mosques, media, schools and youth camps, not only within the Palestinian Authority, but in much of the Arab world. He agreed that this too was a serious impediment to peace and that he would take action — and again he has said and done nothing since.
“It is also noteworthy that, while Annan is quick to criticize or condemn any civilian death and suffering connected to alleged or legitimate Israeli military action, he has been remarkably silent about other human rights issues, when the perpetrators are not Jews, including the imprisonment of Egyptian human rights activist, Ayman Nour; the Iranian execution in 2004 of a Canadian journalist, Zahra Kazemi; the murder of 30 peaceful Kurdish demonstrators in Qamoshli by the Syrian regime in March 2004; and the discovery of mass graves in Iraq following the country’s liberation from Saddam Hussein, which Annan also opposed. With these and other acts and omissions, Annan has made the UN a welcoming venue for human rights abusers, terrorists and extremists and has brought the world body into further disrepute. It’s high time he apologized to Israel and the Jewish people for his and the UN’s biased, bigoted, and indefensible conduct and the finally begin to treat the Jewish state of Israel with the respect and decency it deserves.”
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