U.N. official: Ban Ki-moon did not intend to retract statement on anti-Israel bias

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Credit: World Economic Forum.

(JNS.org) The U.N.’s Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, attempted to
clarify U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s seemingly conflicting statements
regarding anti-Israel bias at the world body, stating that Ban did not retract
his original statement confirming the existence of that bias.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Credit: World Economic Forum.

On Aug. 16, Ban told university students
at the U.N. headquarters in Jerusalem, “Unfortunately, because of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel has been weighed down by criticism and
suffered from bias and sometimes even discrimination.”

But when later pressed by reporters in New York about
his statements regarding U.N. discrimination against Israel, Ban
answered, “No, I don’t think there is discrimination against Israel at the
United Nations. The Israeli government in fact, you know, raised this issue
that [there is] some bias against Israel.”

In an interview on Israel Radio on Sunday, however, Serry said that Ban meant what he originally
said.

“I’ve been in touch with the Secretary-General’s office in New York, and I can assure you that what he said there in
New York was not meant as a retraction,” Serry said on Israel Radio.

“[Ban]
has said, unfortunately, because of the conflict, Israel has been weighed down
by criticism, and suffered from lies and sometimes even discrimination,” Serry
added. “This is what I know he has been saying here, and I know this is what he
stands for.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC)
welcomed Serry’s clarification of Ban’s comments.

“We are pleased that Mr. Serry has
reiterated the Secretary-General’s belief that Israel is not treated fairly,
and does indeed suffer from ‘lies’ and ‘discrimination’ in the world body,” AJC
Executive Director David Harris said in a statement.

…read more
Source: JNS.org

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