B’nai B’rith International condemns the recent remarks of U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. During a session earlier today Ban spoke to the U.N. Security Council stating, “It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”
This speech is an unacceptable rationalization of terrorism, and Palestinian violence is not a “natural reaction” to Israeli policies. It is, sadly, an easily foreseeable consequence of continuous Palestinian incitement to hatred against Israel, Israelis and Jews in general by Palestinian leaders, in school curricula and through television and other media. When some leaders in the international community seek to excuse this violent behavior, it only gets reinforced, leading to the possibility of more terrorist attacks.
Terrorism against civilians would never be considered acceptable in any other conflict situation. Only when the murdered are Israelis do we hear within the halls of the United Nations blaming of the victims. Neither Ban nor anyone else of authority in the international community would ever justify an act of brutal terrorism, if the perpetrator were Israeli, on the grounds that such deliberate violence against innocents is a natural/understandable response to frustration or grievances. Today’s speech is part of a worrying pattern from the secretary general’s office in response to the latest wave of Palestinian violence. B’nai B’rith has spoken out about this troubling pattern and has written to Ban previously to express our concerns.
If Palestinians are indeed frustrated by their political situation, then they must look to their corrupt leadership, which has consistently refused to make necessary compromises in negotiations toward a two-state solution. The oft-repeated U.N. rhetoric that the murderers of Israeli civilians are frustrated by the political situation is a fundamental misreading of reality. They murder because of hatred of Jews, not of any specific Israeli policy. They are not looking to bring about a two-state solution—they want to destroy Israel.
The United Nations cannot be taken seriously as a partner for dialogue on issues relating to the conflict as long as top officials are seen to be giving justifications for Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. Simply, the international community must condemn the murder of Israelis without any equivocation. Not doing so only allows terrorism to fester, and to lead those who carry out terrorist acts to believe they have license to do so.