UN Director-General Ban Ki-Moon spoke at Park East Synagogue in New York on Saturday, in a speech for International Holocaust Remembrance Day - but he was met with boos in light of his recent virulently anti-Israeli statements.
Two weeks ago on Tuesday Ban expressed sympathy for murderous Palestinian terrorism in Israel, saying, "it is human nature to react to occupation." The comment was met with outrage in Israel.
In his speech at the synagogue Ban steered completely clear of Israel, instead only speaking about the universal messages from the Holocaust regarding the need to combat racism and violence. But the crowd did not let him off the hook, jeering and heckling him as he spoke.
"The world must work together in order to build bridges in the struggle against anti-Semitism, racism against Muslims and all other types of hatred," Ban said.
“The Holocaust was a colossal crime. Six million Jews were systematically rounded up and murdered. Millions of others were killed alongside them - prisoners of war, political dissidents, members of minority groups, such as Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and persons with disabilities," he added.
“Today, I am deeply disturbed by the massacres in South Sudan, by the continued carnage in Syria, and by the atrocities being inflicted by Daesh (Islamic State) and Boko Haram. In today’s climate of growing global fear and alienation, we must not lose sight of the fundamental truth that all humans are born with inalienable rights, dignity and worth.”
Ban's speech at the synagogue had been arranged in advance before his comments, as he apparently desired to address a synagogue in time for Holocaust Remembrance Day.