UN spokesman confirms Venezuelan envoy apologized to Danon

May 12, 2016  

The UN spokesman confirmed on Thursday that Venezuela’s UN ambassador, Rafael Ramirez, had apologized to Israel’s envoy Danny Danon over remarks suggesting that Israel was seeking a “final solution” for the Palestinians.

Ramirez, a former foreign minister, told senior UN official Edmond Mulet during a meeting on Wednesday that he regretted the “language” that he used, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, according to the AFP news agency.

Israel’s UN mission said in a statement on Wednesday that Ramirez had called Danon last weekend to offer the apology for what Danon had called “blunt anti-Semitic statements” toward “the Jewish nation”.

In his conversation with Mulet, who is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff, Ramirez had said he “personally apologized” to Danon, said Dujarric.

Ramirez stressed that “he stands against any form of anti-Semitism and fully respects the millions of victims of the Holocaust,” Dujarric added.

At a Security Council meeting last Friday, Ramirez said council members should ask themselves: “What does Israel plan to do with the Palestinians? Will they be disappeared? Is Israel trying to impose a ‘final solution’ on the Palestinians in the West Bank?”

The comparison, drawing a link between Israel and Nazi Germany, drew immediate outrage from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

“The ambassador’s statements are a continuation of the Palestinian representative’s statements which equated Israel to the Nazis only a few days ago,” Danon said in response. “The Palestinians are bringing anti-Semitism to the UN and are bringing the language of racism to the world parliament.”

Last month, the Palestinian Authority representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, drew a parallel between the Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust and the Muslim terrorist perpetrators of recent attacks in Israel.

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