Samaria leader: UN envoy's false claims fuel anti-Semitism

Samaria chief rips UN envoy over false claims settlers attacked and kidnapped Arab man - who was in fact attacking Israeli civilians.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

יוסי דגן
יוסי דגן
צילום: Sraya Diamant/Flash90

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan sent a scathing letter to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, after the coordinator falsely accused Israeli “settlers” without checking the facts. “He encourages anti-Semitism.”

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan penned a letter to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Tor Wennesland demanding that he take back claims he made against Samaria residents from the UN podium.

In a speech before the UN, Wennesland blamed Israeli 'settlers' for attacking a Palestinian Arab when it turned out that the Palestinian was actually the one who had thrown stones at Jewish residents near the community of Homesh in Samaria.

In his letter, Dagan demanded that Wennesland admit the error and “Ensure that his reports are truthful and not informed by anti-Semitism as happened in this case.”

Wennesland made the claim during a speech in August before the UN Security Council.

In that speech Wennesland attacked Israel over the violence that he claimed was carried out by settlers near Homesh against an Arab youth.

Wennesland claimed that the settlers kidnapped and tied up a Palestinian youth, beat him, and even set him on fire. He called the perpetrators disgusting and demanding that the Israeli authorities capture them.

Dagan reached out to security forces and police to understand the story. He learned from them that the story was a lie and that in fact, the Palestinian youth was suspected of throwing stones at the Jewish residents.

As a result, Dagan, who has recently led a fight against international smear campaigns of Israeli settlers, sent a letter to Wennesland attacking his speech. He wrote, “As the head of the Regional Council where this alleged incident took place, I immediately investigated your claims the moment they reached me. This is despite the fact that you did not contact my office before going to the Security Council,” wrote Dagan.

“In my investigation, I spoke with security forces who informed me that the Israeli Police and the IDF had already investigated the incident. You chose not to mention this to the Security Council. In their response to me, the security forces stated that from their investigation the alleged Arab youth took part in violence against the Jewish residents.”

Dagan continued to describe details that Wennesland left out of his speech. “That same terrorist, whom you refer to as a youth, tried to murder Jews in cold-blood solely for the crime of being religious Jews. He threw stones and large rocks at them. Likewise, the Israeli authorities did not find any evidence that any of the Palestinian attackers were hit by stones, kidnapped, or beaten by any Jews. In a medical report of the incident, there is no mention of a youth being ‘burned’ by anyone either. From my investigation, it appears that the Arab youth was injured while fleeing the scene as others tried to apprehend him to turn him over to the security forces,” added Dagan.

Dagan further stated that Wennesland’s speech encourages anti-Semitic violence against Jews. “I hope that you are aware that claims of Jewish and Israeli violence, especially ones so blatantly filled with falsehoods, encourage anti-Semitic attacks against Jews. European experts have already stated that anti-Semitism is rising as Jews are attacked on the streets and Jewish children are harassed in schools. Worse yet, new levels of anti-Semitism were reached in your use of the word ‘disgusting’ in your speech to you describe violence allegedly carried out by Jews- again violence that never took place. At the same time, you fail to use such language to describe murders of Jews,” accused Dagan.

Dagan concluded by demanding that Wennesland fix his error and not allow anti-Semitism to influence him in the future. “I expect you and all those involved on the UN Security Council to immediately fix this injustice and in the future ensure your reports are truthful and not tinged with anti-Semitism as happened in this case,” concluded Dagan.

As initial reports of the incident came in, the IDF Spokesman stated that they had received reports of stone throwing against Jews and that a Palestinian youth was identified as being among the stone throwers. “On August 17th, a report was received about a group of Palestinians throwing stones at Jews near the community of Homesh in the Samaria Region. After receiving the report, IDF soldiers arrived on scene and identified settlers chasing a Palestinian youth. The soldiers dealt with the incident and returned the youth to his family.”