WJC head praises Ban for admitting UN anti-Israel bias

Ronald Lauder praises outgoing UN Secretary General for publicly admitting UN's anti-Israel bias, but adds he should've done so sooner.

Ben Ariel ,

Ronald Lauder
Ronald Lauder
Flash 90

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder praised outgoing United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for publicly admitting that there is an anti-Israel bias at the international body, but also criticized him for not calling out the bias earlier during his 10-year term.

In a speech this past Friday to the Security Council summarizing his term, Ban had said, “Decades of political maneuverings have created a disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel. In many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.”

Ban also said that "we must never accept bias against Israel within UN bodies."

At the same time, he also criticized Israel in his remarks and claimed that “Palestinian frustration and grievances are growing under the weight of nearly half a century of humiliating occupation.”

He also called on Israeli lawmakers to withdraw the “Regulation Law”, which recently passed its first reading in the Knesset and would legalize the status of some communities in Judea and Samaria.

Lauder in his statement, which was quoted by JTA, said that Ban’s term “has been replete with some of the most shocking and anti-Israel resolutions of our time, including repeated Human Rights Council decisions singling out Israel for crimes against humanity, while ignoring the fate of nationals in other parts of the world whose lives are constantly at risk due to the horror and terror of extremists in their midst, as well as UNESCO decisions that blatantly and aggressively deny Israel of its historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem and accuse Israel of aggression in its sovereign capacity.

"We believe that criticism of Israel can be sounded when due, but many of the resolutions of the last few years have been so clearly biased and damaging to Israel,” he continued.

While Lauder praised Ban’s final speech, he added, “It was incumbent upon Sec. Gen. Ban to issue statements such as these over the course of his near decade-long tenure, but it is encouraging to hear now, even in his waning hours in office, and we very much hope that the message will be absorbed by the bodies operating under the UN in the years to come.”

Friday’s remarks were not the first time that Ban has admitted the UN’s anti-Israel bias, though the last time he admitted it was during a 2013 session with Israeli students, and the comments were not widely reported by Israeli media.

MK Avi Dichter (Likud) was unimpressed with Ban’s admission, saying on Sunday that Ban should not have waited until the conclusion of his term to speak about the UN’s anti-Israel bias.

Dichter called on Ban’s successor, Antonio Gutteres, to “not wait until the end of his term before telling us the obvious truth, namely that the organization was not established to condemn Israel repeatedly.”