Next, Secretary General Ban is working on a resolution to make Britain repay Germany for the cost of the bombs dropped during the blitz!
No words are necessary:
Payback time at the UN
Michael Freund – Sep 10, 2008
The Jerusalem Post
The war in Lebanon may have ended two years ago, but that hasn’t stopped
the UN from exploiting the conflict to besmirch Israel. In a move that
harks back to the bad old days of UN hypocrisy and double standards vis-
à-vis the Jewish state, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is reportedly set
to demand that Israel reimburse Lebanon and Syria for damage caused
during the war against Hizbullah.
Yes, you read that correctly. The UN wants Israel to pay for having the
gall to defend itself. According to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, Ban has
prepared a report that he will present to the upcoming General Assembly
in New York. Based on calculations made by the World Bank, he will insist
that Israel cough up approximately $1 billion in “compensation” for
material and environmental harm to Lebanese society and infrastructure.
In addition, Ban will purportedly highlight the bombing of the Jiyeh
power plant 30 kilometers south of Beirut in mid-July 2006. As a result
of the attack, thousands of barrels of oil are said to have spilled into
the Mediteranean, polluting parts of the Lebanese and Syrian coastlines
and causing ecological damage to marine life.
The report is a sequel, of sorts, to one issued last fall by Ban, in
which he called on Israel “to take the necessary actions toward assuming
responsibility for prompt and adequate compensation to the government of
Lebanon.” Since Israel rightly ignored that preposterous request, Ban has
now apparently decided to turn up the heat in the hopes of pressing
Jerusalem to pay.
Even for a body with such a long and remarkable record of anti-Israel
hyperbole, the UN has outdone itself this time. Ban’s insistence that
Israel pay the aggressors for damage done during a war they provoked is
both morally obscene and intellectually obtuse.
Israel’s actions in Lebanon did not occur in a vacuum, and it requires a
highly active imagination to overlook this basic fact.
If the Lebanese authorities allow their sovereign territory to be used as
a launching pad for attacks, as they did in the summer of 2006, they bear
responsibility for what ensues, including any damage caused as a result
of Israel ‘s actions taken in self-defense.
You don’t need to be a moral philosopher or international legal scholar
to figure that one out.
Ban’s error is that he focuses entirely on the consequences of an action
while completely ignoring its context, as though the reason for a
particular situation has no bearing on the nature of the outcome. This is
patently absurd, and would be akin to the UN demanding that the US and
its allies who invaded Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks
reimburse Osama bin Laden and the Taliban for destroying the caves in
which they hid.
Make no mistake. The UN’s attempt to compel Israel to pay for bombing
Lebanon has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with a
political agenda, one that paints Israel as the unreasonable assailant
rather than the innocent victim. It is nothing less than a shameful
attempt to rewrite history, and it should not be allowed to stand.
BUT IF Ban nonetheless insists on pressing forward with the issue of
compensation, I say: Bring it on. Let’s have a real debate over the
matter. We can start by working out compensation for the thousands of
rockets, mortar shells and other projectiles that were fired at Israel
from Lebanese territory during the war.
Let’s add to that the loss in income from the drop in tourism, the
calling up of reserve units and the displacement of thousands of families
throughout northern Israel . Then there is the pain and suffering
inflicted on soldiers and civilians who were wounded and killed, as well
as the mental and psychological trauma endured by countless Israelis
throughout the 33 days of conflict.
Why shouldn’t Syria, Lebanon and Iran be made to pay for their
sponsorship of Hizbullah and the damage it wrought? And while we’re on
the subject of liability, the UN might wish to consult its lawyers. After
all, UNIFIL troops in southern Lebanon have lethargically presided over
repeated Hizbullah arms buildups while doing little to stop them, despite
the requirements of UN Security Council resolutions. Their hands aren’t
entirely clean when it comes to preventing the outbreak of conflict.
You can’t have it both ways, Ban. You can’t invoke principles of fairness
and equity and then demand that Israel be made to pay while ignoring the
other side’s culpability.
As the late US Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once pointed out, “Everyone
is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”
Not even the secretary-general of the United Nations.