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Jewish Journal

Wiesenthal Charges U.N. With Bias

by Tom Tugend

July 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

United Nations officials and agencies have "reverted to a virulent anti-Israel stance" since the start of the latest intifada 10 months ago, the Simon Wiesenthal Center charged in a statement last Friday.

The bias has been expressed by labeling Israel guilty of war crimes and passing one-sided condemnations of the Jewish State in the U.N. General Assembly, UNESCO, International Labor Organization and World Health Organization, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

Pointing to a specific incident, Cooper said that following last October's kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers along the Lebanese border by Hezbollah terrorists, that U.N. officials "have lied for months about the existence of a videotape, which could provide evidence that the kidnappers were disguised as U.N. soldiers."

Cooper charged: "Instead of sharing this information with Israel and launching a prompt investigation as to how U.N. uniforms and possibly equipment may have been used in this incident, every effort was made to cover up the truth."

(In subsequent developments, a U.N. spokesman acknowledged that the tape exists and would be shown to Israel, but with the faces of the kidnappers obscured. Lebanon protested release of the tape, while Israel demanded that it not be edited. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon phoned U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and demanded that the United Nation give Israel all available information on the kidnapped soldiers.)

Cooper also accused U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan of keeping silent while Arab leaders made anti-Jewish remarks in his presence and not denouncing Arab terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

"Once again, the United Nations has shown itself to be unable or unwilling to treat the state of Israel and her citizens with the same dignity and concern as it shows toward every other nation," Cooper asserted.

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