August 11, 2006

In News

By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent

NEW YORK – The National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Abraham Foxman, accused United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday of demonstrating “blatant one-sidedness” in his comments about Israel’s war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“I am stunned that the UN secretary general cannot find his tongue except to criticize and denounce Israel, and is unable to raise his voice to denounce Hezbollah’s daily firing of hundreds of rockets that are specifically intended to hurt civilians,” Foxman said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Haaretz.

“In addition, [Annan] has not bothered to mention the loss of life in Israel as a result of the rocket attacks,” Foxman continued. “When will the UN secretary general begin to give Jewish lives the same respect he extends to other human beings,” the ADL head asked.

Referring to Annan’s decision a few months ago to create an international Holocaust Remembrance Day, Foxman said, “It’s well and good to mark the Holocaust after 60 years, but it’s more important to stand in defense of live Jews today.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Gillerman, confirmed that a delegation of Jewish leaders met with Annan last week and expressed their dissatisfaction with the secretary general’s recent denunciations of Israel. Gillerman told Haaretz that the delegation consulted with him before meeting Annan.

Foxman declined the opportunity to join the delegation and refused to meet with Annan.

On Tuesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric rejected Foxman’s claims that Annan ignores Israeli suffering. “If we look at the statements issued by the secretary general in recent weeks we can see that this is not true.”