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B’nai B’rith International wrote to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today to express deep concern about his “choice of language in addressing the ongoing hostilities between Hamas and a United Nations member state, Israel, compelled again to protect its citizens from that Palestinian terrorist organization.” While Ban separately condemned an “upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks, particularly in Europe,” he deplored military shelling outside a U.N. Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza as “a moral outrage” and even “a criminal act.”

In their letter, B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs, Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin and Director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs David J. Michaels wrote that they join the secretary-general in distress over any civilian casualties. However, they also had questions for Ban: “Why is the most strident of language reserved only for reported Israeli defensive actions? Has nearly a decade-and-a-half of rockets from Gaza into Israel – now subjecting nearly all Israeli civilians, of all backgrounds, to incessant air raid sirens and bomb shelters – not constituted ‘a moral outrage and a criminal act?’ Does a multi-million-dollar network of underground, cross-border terrorist infiltration tunnels not constitute ‘madness’ that must be definitively ended? Is the storing by Palestinian terrorists of heavy munitions in UNRWA schools – repeatedly uncovered by UNRWA itself over recent weeks – not eminently relevant to the current situation and demanding of your personal intervention of the most urgent kind?”

Noting that the consideration of counterterrorism to be a “criminal act” incentivizes the continued taking of human shields by groups like Hamas, B’nai B’rith advised Ban to concentrate on curbing the flow of arms to Gaza: “We urge you, accordingly, to focus your vital efforts on ensuring the full and immediate demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. It is especially critical that your words and deeds do not contribute to reinforcing the unconscionable behavior of terrorist organizations standing in the way of calm and of peace.”

Click here to read the full letter.