UN official: I didn't justify Paris attacks

UNHRC's Alfred de Zayas clarifies he did not blame Paris attacks on the West and "Israeli settlers".

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

UN Human Rights Council
UN Human Rights Council

A UN official on Thursday rejected claims that he blamed the Paris attacks on the West and on “Israeli settlers”.

In a post on his blog, Dr. Alfred de Zayas, the UN’s Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, said the claims reported on Wednesday by the UN Watch NGO were “vile defamation”.

UN Watch cited an essay written by de Zayas in which he implicitly justified the Paris attacks as “a response to grave injustices and ongoing abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries.”

The NGO called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the UN ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, to condemn de Zayas’ remarks.

Responding on Thursday to the claims, de Zayas wrote in his blog, “Recently it has come to my attention that a particularly vile defamation has been spread over blogs and news outlets according to which I have somehow blamed the West for the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November. One would think that such a statement is too ludicrous to merit any kind of reaction.”

“Let me be clear,” he stated. “I have never written in my blog essay that the West is responsible for the Paris terrorist attacks. My essay does not mention Paris at all, but focuses on the root-causes of terrorism with its multiple actors and victims.”

De Zayas clarified that “endeavoring to trace the stages of violent behavior and understand the phenomenon in no way justifies it. Our common interest must be to develop prevention mechanisms. This requires a comprehensive analysis, not only on the root-causes of terrorism, but on the recent and more distant pre-history of the violence.”

“I encourage every independent and critically thinking reader to read my essay in which I give my utmost consideration and attention to all victims,” he continued.

Refuting the claims that he justified the Paris attacks, de Zayas quoted the relevant paragraph from his essay:

“Some observers have postulated the view that terrorism, albeit neither justified nor justifiable, is partly a response to grave injustices and on-going abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries. Admittedly, modern terrorism has evolved over the past decades, but it remains a truism that in the light of power asymmetries both guerilla warfare and terrorism are preferred tactics of the underdog.”

“The intellectual dishonesty expressed in the defamatory article against me is a disservice to readers, who are entitled to the full text of my argument. Such crude distortions make it even more difficult to come to grips with a social phenomenon that has already claimed too many lives,” concluded de Zayas.