New York, NY, July 7, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to withdraw and reconsider a biased U.N. report which unjustly concludes that Israeli soldiers used unnecessary force during a confrontation with Palestinian demonstrators at the Israel-Lebanon border in May.
A report issued by the U.N.'s Special Coordinator for Lebanon charged that Israel used excessive force when it confronted protesters that illegally breached its border to mark the so-called "Nakba Day," the term many Palestinians and Arabs use to refer to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
"This biased UN report blatantly disregards the imminent threat faced by Israel when protesters stormed its territory," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We challenge any other member state of the United Nations, faced with 1,000 people attempting to breach its borders, to operate with the same level of caution that Israel demonstrated in reacting to this highly combustible situation."
In a letter to Mr. Ban, ADL noted that though Israel faced a clear violation of its sovereignty and a direct threat to its security, it made every effort to avoid violent confrontation. Moreover, the protesters were the first to engage in violent tactics.
"Israeli soldiers employed various methods such as calling out to the protesters to stop, and firing shots in the air to warn the demonstrators to halt their charge," Mr. Foxman said. "Moreover, Israel appealed to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to intervene. It is extremely unfortunate that the protesters did not heed these extensive warnings."
The report's author, Michael Williams, himself rushed to judgment in the immediate aftermath of the incident, including being quoted condemning Israel's actions before the investigation began and saying Israel used "disproportionate force."
The League's letter also highlighted the fact that the Lebanese government successfully kept protesters away from the border several weeks later, on "Naksa" day.