Netanyahu to Ban: UN is biased against Israel

PM says he ‘will not apologize’ for Iron Dome, says standard applied to Israel ‘different’ from other countries

Rebecca Shimoni Stoil is the Times of Israel's Washington correspondent.

Illustrative photo of the UN General Assembly hall on September 22, 2014. (photo credit: Mark Garten/UN)
Illustrative photo of the UN General Assembly hall on September 22, 2014. (photo credit: Mark Garten/UN)

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday afternoon at the UN offices in New York, and complained that the UN holds Israel to a different standard of behavior than other states.

According to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu “declared that there was no justice in the fact that the standard applied to Israel was different than that applied to other countries.” Netanyahu cited the high death toll in Syria, emphasizing that in contrast to Syria, the UN disproportionally targeted Israel for condemnation and criticism.

Netanyahu argued that unlike the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israel did not direct attacks against civilians and added that he regretted any harm done to innocents.

The Prime Minister’s Office also reported that Netanyahu complained to the UN chief that the UN Human Rights Council was not focusing its inquiry on Hamas, which allegedly used UN facilities in order to fire at Israel, and asserted that Israel would struggle to change that. Repeating a theme emphasized in his speech Monday before the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu said that the council was biased against Israel and defends Hamas.

Netanyahu argued that Hamas was guilty of perpetrating a double war crime by using Gazan civilians as human shields and for firing rockets targeting civilians in Israel, and compared Hamas to the Islamic State group – all also topics addressed in his speech.

In a reference to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s complaint during Operation Protective Edge that Gazans “had not been provided” with the Iron Dome to protect themselves against IDF operations, Netanyahu said that he did not intend to apologize for the fact that Israel manufactured the Iron Dome to protect its own citizens.

Netanyahu also clarified that there has been no change in his stance on a demilitarized Palestinian state that would recognize the Jewish state, and on security arrangements that would allow Israel to defend itself by itself against any threat. He added that the conflict with the Palestinians was not about the settlements but about the Jewish state’s right to exist.

The prime minister met with the UN leader at the conclusion of a three-day visit to New York centered around his Monday plenary speech. On Wednesday, Netanyahu will meet with US President Barack Obama in Washington, where he will continue to press Israel’s case for stripping Iran of its capacity to produce nuclear weapons – a theme he also touched upon during his meeting with Ban.

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