Netanyahu Praises Outgoing UN Secretary General, Rebukes UN Treatment of Israel

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Netanyahu Praises Outgoing UN Secretary General, Rebukes UN Treatment of Israel

Written by Jonathan Benedek/TPS on June 28, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday for his friendship and efforts to improve Israel’s standing in the UN during a press conference with the visiting secretary-general.

“I remember well when you came to Israel in 2013, you said that Israel must be treated equally at the UN,” Netanyahu said. “I appreciate your candor and this clear moral stance.”

“It was exemplified in your efforts to secure the final Palmer report which was very important for Israel,” continued Netanyahu.

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The Palmer report in 2011 recognized the legality of Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is primarily geared towards preventing the importation of weapons and arms into the coastal territory controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization. The report also questioned the sincerity of the leaders of the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza, particularly of Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), an Islamist organization operating in Turkey that sponsored the flotilla. (It did? What do you mean questioned the sincerity? And is IHH an Islamist org? Is that how they describe themselves or is that your perspective?)

Secretary-General Ban attributed such efforts on his part to his further understanding of Israel’s perspective from his many conversations with Netanyahu.

“My conversations with you, Mr. Prime Minister, have helped me understand Israel’s frustrations and fears, the frustration that sometimes your country is held to a different standard at the United Nations, the fear that your country and people are under constant threat,” Ban Ki-Moon told Netanyahu.

“After nearly 10 years as secretary-general, I can proudly say that I have always been a committed friend of Israel,” he added.  “I have worked hard to show in words and in deeds, my sincere friendship for Israel.”

Nevertheless, Netanyahu lamented that Israel continues to be treated very unfairly at the UN.

“Regrettably, the goal of treating Israel fairly remains unfulfilled across a wide spectrum of UN activities and UN forums,” Netanyahu said.

“Your visit comes as the UN Human Rights Council is meeting,” continued Netanyahu. “As it always does, the Council will condemn Israel, the country that does more to promote and protect human rights and liberal values than any other in the blood-soaked Middle East. Our progressive democracy has faced more country-specific resolutions, more country-specific condemnations at the UN Human Rights Council than all the other countries combined.”

The UN Human Rights Council had already conducted an “Agenda 7” debate on Monday, which focuses on Israel’s “human rights abuses” against Palestinians. A number of western countries boycotted the debate in protest of the Council’s unfair treatment and focus on Israel.

Netanyahu urged Ban to do everything possible to help reform the UN system regarding its level of fairness.

“I know that your desire for all countries to be treated fairly and equally remains true today,” Netanyahu. “I urge you to dedicate your last six months as secretary-general of the United Nations to trying to right this wrong. It’s not just for Israel’s sake. It’s for the credibility of the UN.”

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