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June 6, 2017 10:42 am

ADL Admonishes UN Secretary-General Over ‘Misleading’ Six-Day War Statement

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: UN.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has rebuked United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for what the Jewish civil rights organization described as an “incomplete and misleading” statement marking the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the 1967 Six-Day War.

In the statement, Guterres asserted that “[e]nding the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty. It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

Guterres also described the aftermath of the war in purely negative terms, saying that it “resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians,” without acknowledging the threat of destruction Israel faced on eve of the conflict.

“We are troubled by the secretary-general’s incomplete statement on the anniversary of the Six-Day War and urge him to clarify his remarks,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “While we share his desire for a return to negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, this anniversary cannot be viewed in a vacuum. It is grossly misleading to examine only the enduring effects of the war while ignoring the context in which the war took place — the belligerence of the Arab states in the spring of 1967, and the silence of the international community in the face of these threats and its failure to ensure the rights to free passage of international waterways.”

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Greenblatt noted appreciatively that since the beginning of his term at the start of this year, Guterres “has made a number of important supportive statements on Israel, including recognizing the double standard with which Israel is treated at the UN, and his labeling as anti-Semitism the delegitimization of Israel’s right to exist.”

“We would have hoped that he would use this anniversary to address the Palestinian condition and call for peace and resolution in a fair-minded and historically accurate manner,” Greenblatt concluded.

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