Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's last hypocritical hurrah - Ruthie Blum

by Ruthie Blum

In fact, Ban is a prominent ‎member of the Israel-bashing choir he has been conducting for the past 10 years

The outgoing secretary-general of the United Nations outdid himself this week. In his final briefing ‎to the U.N. Security Council on Friday, Ban Ki-moon said, "Over the last decade, I have argued that ‎we cannot have a bias against Israel at the U.N. Decades of political maneuvering have created a ‎disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel. In many cases, ‎instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role ‎effectively."‎

Listening to the head of the international body that long ago ceased to fulfill any role other than that ‎of providing a platform for despots, one might have mistaken him for an innocent bystander whose ‎voice has been drowned out by the cacophony against the Jewish state. 

In fact, Ban is a prominent ‎member of the Israel-bashing choir he has been conducting for the past 10 years, taking every ‎opportunity to equate the only democracy in the Middle East with the forces bent on its destruction ‎and on the subjugation of the West. ‎

Indeed, he even performed this feat in his farewell address, admonishing both Israel and the ‎terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip in the same breath. Israel, he warned, "needs to ‎understand the reality that a democratic state, which is run by the rule of the law, which continues to ‎militarily occupy the Palestinian people, will still generate criticism and calls to hold her accountable." ‎Hamas, with its "anti-Semitic charter, which seeks to destroy Israel," he said, should "condemn ‎violence once and for all and recognize Israel's right to exist."‎

He conveniently forgot to mention that Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, and that ‎Hamas -- which took control over the enclave two years later -- has no reason to "condemn" the ‎violence against Jews that it perpetrates and promotes.‎

But no matter. Ban, like the rest of his cohorts at the U.N., never lets facts get in the way of ‎ideology. Nor do his own contradictions in terms cause him to pause, which is why he had no ‎problem saying that though the Palestinian conflict is not at the root of the other wars in the Middle ‎East, "its resolution can create momentum in the region." If he has some notion of how, exactly, the ‎mass murder of Syrians at the hands of the Russian- and Iranian-backed regime of President ‎Bashar Assad and rebel forces would be affected by some deal between Jerusalem and Ramallah, ‎he is keeping it under wraps.‎

What he has never been quiet about, however, is his belief that Israelis are responsible for ‎Palestinian terrorism, and his hurt feelings when called to task for holding this view. Take last ‎January, when Ban said it was "human nature" for downtrodden people like the ‎Palestinians ‎to express their frustration through violence. This caused a stir among defenders of ‎Israel, particularly since the U.N. chief had never made a similar statement about, say al-Qaida, ‎Islamic State ‎or Boko Haram -- the group that, at the end of the same month, burned 86 Nigerian ‎villagers alive, ‎among them many children.‎

Offended at the mere suggestion that he had justified Palestinian terrorism‎, ‎Ban penned an op‎-‎ed ‏in The New York Times ‏‎--‎‏ titled ‏‎"‎Don‎'‎t shoot the messenger‎, ‎Israel‎" --‎‏ to claim that his words had ‏been unfairly ‏‎"‎twisted‎." ‎To prove that he had been misquoted‎, ‎he clarified‎, ‎‏"‏The stabbings‏, ‏vehicle‏-‏rammings and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible‎. So, ‎too, are ‎the incitement of violence and the glorification of killers. Nothing excuses terrorism. I ‎condemn it ‎categorically."‎

Then, without skipping a beat, he proceeded to blame Israel.‏

‎"It is inconceivable ... that security measures alone will stop the violence," he wrote. "As I warned ‎the ‎Security Council last week, Palestinian frustration and grievances are growing under the weight ‎‎of nearly a half-century of occupation. Ignoring this won't make it disappear. No one can deny ‎that ‎the everyday reality of occupation provokes anger and despair, which are major drivers of ‎violence ‎and extremism and Israeli settlements keep expanding. ... Palestinians -- especially ‎young people -- ‎are losing hope over what seems a harsh, humiliating and endless occupation."‎

Given his false depiction of the situation -- including by omitting Israel's ‎withdrawal from more ‎than 90% of the territory it obtained after the attempt of surrounding ‎Arab armies to obliterate it in ‎the Six-Day War -- it stood to reason that his proposed solutions would be preposterous.‎‏ And they ‏were.‏

‎"We continue to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to rebuild Gaza and prevent ‎another ‎devastating conflict, and to press Palestinians for genuine national reconciliation," he ‎wrote, ‎ignoring the fact that it has been impossible to "rebuild" Gaza, when Hamas has used all ‎the ‎American and European funds provided for this purpose to rebuild all its terror tunnels ‎through ‎which to kidnap and kill Israelis -- and boast about this in video clips.‎

However‎, ‎he said ‎he was ‏‎"‎disturbed‎ by statements from senior members of Israel's government ‎that the ‎aim [for a two-state solution] should be abandoned altogether"‎‏ because the‎ "stalemate" will ‎lead to "a corrosion ‎of the moral foundation of Israeli and Palestinian societies, ever more inured to ‎the pain of the ‎other."‎‏

After attacking Israel for "lashing out at every well-‎intentioned critic," ‏Ban concluded that ‎‎"the status quo is untenable. Keeping another people under indefinite ‎occupation undermines the ‎security and the future of both Israelis and Palestinians."‎

It takes serious nerve for someone who has exhibited anti‎-‎Israel bias for years to bemoan the ‏practice‎. ‎But then ‎hypocrisy is what Ban and the U‎.‎N‎. ‎are all about‎.‎

Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.‏


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