His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretariat
New York, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
We are troubled by the statement issued by your Spokesperson on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
In your statement you refer to those who have been killed, or "their lives shattered by the tragedies in the Middle East, particularly the Palestiniansâ€¦" In singling out Palestinian suffering, your statement gives the impression that you place the onus for the Arab-Israeli conflict solely on Israel. We are also concerned that by emphasizing the effects of the conflict on the Palestinians, the statement may be seen as inappropriately devaluing the loss of Israeli life and the suffering inflicted on the people of Israel as a result of years of unrelenting terror attacks.
We hope that in future statements will show a greater sensitivity to the plight of Israel. As you acknowledged to us when we met, Israel has often been dealt with badly at the United Nations and you affirmed your commitment as Secretary General to work to continue to improve the treatment Israel as a full fledged member of the family of nations. Unfortunately, we found this statement to be reminiscent of the one-sided approach of past years.