(UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist)
Tor Wennesland

Yossi Dagan says the double standard employed by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process is antisemitic.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

In a caustic letter, settler leader Yossi Dagan denounced a United Nations envoy for making false accusations against Jewish settlers and for a rhetorical double-standard he described as antisemitic.

Dagan’s letter stemmed from a briefing delivered by Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East, to the Security Council in August.

In that briefing, Wennesland, a Norwegian diplomat, told the Security Council that on August 17, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was attacked in Samaria, during which “a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped the boy, tied him to a tree, and brutally assaulted, cut and burned him. The boy, who lost consciousness, was eventually handed over to a Palestinian ambulance.”

“I am deeply concerned by this heinous act and I expect the Israeli authorities to undertake a swift, thorough and transparent investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable,” Wennesland demanded.

Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, investigated the incident with the IDF and Israeli police. The Samaria Regional Council provides municipal services for 35 Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Dagan discovered that the reported incident was not only fabricated, but the Palestinian boy was suspected of throwing rocks at Israelis living in Homesh.

Dagan’s letter called out Wennesland’s failure to verify the information before presenting it to the Security Council.

“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,” Dagan wrote.

Dagan warned that the envoy’s false claims fuel antisemitism. “I hope that you are aware that claims of Jewish and Israeli violence, especially ones so blatantly filled with falsehoods, encourage antisemitic attacks against Jews. European experts have already stated that antisemitism is rising as Jews are attacked on the streets and Jewish children are harassed in schools,” he wrote.

More seriously, the letter accused Wennesland of using a double standard in his rhetoric, which Dagan described as antisemitic.

“Worse yet, new levels of antisemitism were reached in your use of the word ‘disgusting’ in your speech to 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,” Dagan wrote.

“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 antisemitism as happened in this case,” he concluded.