NEW YORK – UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon issued a statement Sunday deploring the anti-Semitic attacks that have bubbled up around the world, particularly in Europe, since fighting began in the Gaza Strip nearly a month ago.
“The secretary-general emphasizes that the conflict in the Middle East must not constitute a pretext for prejudice that could affect social peace and harmony anywhere. He firmly believes that the conflict needs to be solved through an immediate cessation of violence and negotiations,” the statement read.
As Operation Protective Edge has progressed, protests in support of Palestine have drawn anti-Semitic protesters, most notably in France and in Germany.
Instances of anti-Semitism have also increased in the United States since fighting began in early July. Last week, the Torah V’Emunah Synagogue was spray-painted with swastikas.
The secretary-general also condemned the shelling of a third UNRWA facility on Sunday, which resulted in the deaths of 10 Palestinian civilians and one UN worker. UNRWA’s commissioner- general, Pierre Krähenbühl, and the secretary-general once again emphasized the inviolability of UN facilities. UN workers have warned that medical facilities are on the verge of collapse, and that the situation in Gaza is dire.
“We have issued condemnations of attacks on our schools.
We have many times said that we want the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza to stop. And we are also condemning the firing of rockets into Israel,” Vannina Maestracci, a spokeswoman for Ban, said.
“People on both sides are not happy with us,” Maestracci said of the UN. “We’re always going to get criticism.”