After receiving complaints from Israeli diplomats of inaction on Palestinian incitement over the Temple Mount, UN chief Ban Ki-moon only made a bland statement calling for restraint on both sides.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again failed to directly criticize anti-Semitic statements by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas encouraging violence on the Temple Mount. He called on both sides to refrain from inflammatory language only after coming under pressure from the Israeli delegation to the UN and the Foreign Ministry.
According to a UN press release, Ban telephoned Abbas to discuss the Temple Mount riots during the Jewish New Year. Muslim organizations dedicated to ending any non-Muslim presence at the site, Judaism’s holiest, prepared for days in advance to attack Jewish worshipers celebrating Rosh Hashana by pelting them with rocks and improvised explosives.
According to a readout by Ban’s spokesman, “The Secretary-General regretted recent instances of inflammatory rhetoric which will only serve to increase mistrust and worsen an already difficult situation on the ground and urged all to refrain from it.”
The PA President encouraged the violence in comments to Muslim and Christian religious leaders last week in Ramallah. “We will not forsake our country and we will keep every inch of our land. Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every martyr will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God,” he said, adding, “The al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours as well. They have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet; we won’t allow them to do that.”
Israeli diplomats quickly condemned Abbas’s comments, and the failure of the UN to respond to them.
“Today the world is divided between those trying to undermine religious coexistence and those trying to protect it,” Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said in a statement. “By saying that the ‘filthy feet’ of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount desecrate it, Mahmoud Abbas has now clarified on which side he stands.”
The Israeli delegation to the UN, led by Ron Prosor, complained to the Secretary-General about his silence on the inflammatory remarks.
By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel
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