Let me begin by stating that I do not object to the UN Secretary General condemning the act of arson by Jewish settlers in the West Bank that resulted in the death of an 18-month Palestinian child nor do I object to him characterizing it as a terrorist attack.
But I do dissent with Ban’s condemnation in two respects.
First, I object to his rationalization:
The absence of a political process and Israel’s illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses, have given rise to violent extremism on both sides. This presents a further threat to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood, as well as to the security of the people of Israel. The Secretary-General urges both sides to take bold steps to return to the path of peace.
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again. The Palestinians consider all of Israel to be a settlement. If one were to dismantle every single settlement tomorrow, Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jews would not dissipate. No Jew has lived in Gaza for 10 years and yet rockets still get fired into Israel from the Hamas led territory. Settlements are neither the cause of nor cure of Palestinian extremism.
My second objection is that Ban seldom makes similar condemnations of Palestinian violence against Jews in Israel. What did Ban say last October when a Hamas member ran down eight people at a light rail stop in Jerusalem resulting in the death of Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old American born infant, who was visiting with her family? I won’t keep you in suspense. He said nothing. Why? Because condemning acts of violence by Palestinians against Jews living or visiting in Israel doesn’t serve the UN’s political agenda of delegitimizing Israel. If one reads Ban’s statement he blames Israeli policies for the child’s death even though those who committed this heinous act did not act with the blessings of the Israeli government. The same cannot be said of the Palestinian Authority when Palestinians kill Jews. Indeed, both Hamas and Fatah praised the man responsible for killing Chaya Zissel Braun, with Hamas referring to the infant girl as a “female settler.”
If only Ban Ki-Moon and the UN found such praise worthy of condemnation. But if they did then they wouldn’t be the UN, now would they?