“We wish that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for all his good intentions as well as shortcomings in peacemaking, had lent this honest acknowledgment throughout his decade-long tenure as secretary-general, but now hope his successor, António Guterres, will adopt a principled leadership position from the outset of his term at the helm,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said.
In his remarks, Ban also recognized that, while surely an irritant, "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the cause of the wars in the Middle East," and he referenced "the right of the Jewish people to have a state," in keeping with a U.N. General Assembly decision of 1947, long rejected by the Palestinians.
He also noted that "Israelis feel that there is no end in sight to terrorism, as incitement and calls for Israel’s obliteration continue unchallenged by Palestinian leaders," adding that "[s]tabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians do nothing to advance their dream of statehood."
He said, "It is unacceptable that Hamas still boasts an anti-Semitic Charter that aspires to the obliteration of Israel. Hamas must, once and for all, renounce the use of violence and recognize the right of Israel to exist alongside a Palestinian state, in accordance with all relevant Security Council resolutions and previous agreements between the parties."
“If the U.N. is to play a part in enabling progress toward peace, incoming Secretary-General Guterres must be blunt in opposing Palestinian use of the world body to foment continued conflict and to evade direct talks with Israel,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said.
B’nai B’rith welcomes Ban’s affirmation that “we must never accept bias against Israel within UN bodies,” but takes exception to his repeated criticisms of Israel that ignore the Jewish state’s exhaustive attempts to achieve peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians.