New York, NY, June 5, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed regret regarding what it called an “incomplete and misleading” statement issued by United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War.
In an official statement, the Secretary General focusses solely on the impact of the war on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Syrians in the Golan Heights without providing any background to the outbreak of the war fifty years ago, including the role the U.N. played in the run up to the outbreak of that war. Nor does the statement provide any context to the origins of the Israeli-Arab conflict, particularly the Arab states’ aggression which led to Israel’s preemptive attack in 1967.
“We are troubled by the Secretary General’s incomplete statement on the anniversary of the Six Day War and urge him to clarify his remarks,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “While we share his desire for a return to negotiations to achieve a two state solution, this anniversary cannot be viewed in a vacuum. It is grossly misleading to examine only the enduring effects of the war while ignoring the context in which the war took place - the belligerence of the Arab states in the spring of 1967, and the silence of the international community in the face of these threats and its failure to ensure the rights to free passage of international waterways.”
Mr. Greenblatt noted, “Since the beginning of his term, Secretary General Antonio Guterres has made a number of important supportive statements on Israel, including recognizing the double standard with which Israel is treated at the U.N., and his labeling as anti-Semitism the delegitimization of Israel’s right to exist. We would have hoped that he would use this anniversary to address the Palestinian condition and call for peace and resolution in a fair-minded and historically accurate manner.”
On the anniversary of the Six Day War, ADL partnered with the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre (BICOM) and Fathom Journal to produce an interactive web platform called 50 Voices 50 Years, convening some of top thinkers and writers, activists, politicians, diplomats, and security experts to consider the enduring legacy of the Six Day War.