Ban fires back at Israeli criticism of UN speech: ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, responded to the article on Monday, saying that Ban “chooses to ignore the reality in Israel.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon penned an op-ed in the New York Times on Sunday, defending his statements at the United Nations last week on the current wave of violence in Israel, which some, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu felt justified Palestinian aggression.
“In Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, 2016 has begun much as 2015 ended — with unacceptable levels of violence and a polarized public discourse,” Ban began in his piece.
“That polarization showed itself in the halls of the United Nations last week when I pointed out a simple truth: History proves that people will always resist occupation,” he said, restating what he had said in his speech last week.
He then went on to accuse those who were critical of his statements of “shooting the messenger” by “twisting his words” to seem as though he was justifying the use of violence.
“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.”
Still, he said, security measures alone will not stop the ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis, which have resulted in almost daily stabbings or car-rammings against Israelis, and a considerable number of deaths of Palestinians, majority of whom have committed attacks.
According to Ban, his statements last week were an attempt explain the “frustration and grievances” that Palestinians in the West Bank feel, and according to the UN chief, “ignoring this won’t make it go away.”
Ban also criticized Israel’s expanding of “illegal” settlements, saying that this continued policy leads Palestinians to “lose hope on what seems to be a harsh, humiliating and endless occupation.”
He said that a lasting agreement between Israelis and Palestinians will require “difficult compromises by leaders and peoples on both sides,” and said that any agreement must require “significant shifts in policies toward the West Bank and Gaza, while safeguarding Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”
“I will always stand up to those who challenge
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