U.N. Chief, Israeli Ambassador, Dispute Mideast ‘Madness’

YERUSHALAYIM -
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leans down to shake the hand of U.S. President Barack Obama at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leans down to shake the hand of U.S. President Barack Obama at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon took sharp issue with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks blaming Israel for the stalled peace process on Tuesday.

“As a friend of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, it pains me that this past decade has been 10 years lost to peace,” Ban told the annual General Assembly gathering. “Ten years lost to illegal settlement expansion. Ten years lost to intra-Palestinian divide, growing polarization and hopelessness. This is madness.”

The Secretary-General bemoaned that “the occupation grinds into its 50th year” and added that “replacing a two-state solution with a one-state construct would spell doom: denying Palestinians their freedom and rightful future, and pushing Israel further from its vision of a Jewish democracy towards greater global isolation.”

Danon countered that “the real madness belongs to the U.N.”

“Instead of focusing on Palestinian terror and incitement, and instead of compelling Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table, the Secretary-General chose to criticize Israel once again. This is an obsession with Israel and it must end.

“At a time when Palestinian terror is on the rise in Israel, the Secretary-General chose to criticize us and ignore the direct responsibility of Abbas and the Palestinian leadership who continue to incite towards terror.”