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Op-Ed

Who are They to Interrogate Israel?

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With all of the pressure Israel faces regarding Iran, this week’s media reports may be the most absurd one has heard yet.  News has emerged that the United Nations Secretary General Ben Ki-moon is angry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for disclosing information of a phone call between the two regarding the UN chief’s planned visit to Tehran.

Netanyahu asked Ban to cancel his plans to participate in a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, scheduled to take place in Tehran in late August.

According to media reports, Ban believed Netanyahu wanted to embarrass him – and was angry.  Yes, Netanyahu told him that his place isn’t in Tehran – and that’s a surprise one seemingly understands from the UN.  Absurd and sickening. Surprise, surprise, the UN is angry with Israel – A democratic country, surrounded by people who want to slaughter them.

It may indeed be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  Does Israel not have the right to defend and protect themselves? Do they need to wait to be killed rather than ask the UN to ask as decent people?

Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1911 wrote an essay called: “Instead of Excessive Apology”:
“The neighbors live and are not ashamed…. Do our neighbors blush for those in Kishinyov who hammered nails into Jewish babies’ eyes? Not in the least; they walk with head raised high and look everybody in the face; they are absolutely right, and this is how it must be, as the persona of a people is royal, and not responsible and is not obliged to apologize…

“We are not to sit for anybody’s examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves…”  
After facing this debate over 100 years ago, Jabotinsky declares the Jewish people “do not have to account to anybody” – especially not to those who seek to hammer nails into babies’ eyes and kill an entire people. Less than 70 years after the Holocaust, many in the Middle East want to erase the Jewish state from the map.   It’s the only state in the world who many openly want to destroy – the Jewish nation.  
And yet we understand from the above that 100 years ago as well, Jews were killed and no one blushed. Only a few years ago Netanyahu stood before the United Nations—with sheaves of documentation in hand—and asked “Have you no shame?  Have you no decency?”

Whatever Israel decides, the diplomatic effort to halt Tehran’s enrichment of uranium is dead – and Netanyahu has nothing to apologize for.  Ban and the entire UN should be ashamed.  

As Ze’ev Jabotinsky would ask: Who are they to interrogate us? Israel is always on trial –No matter what Public Relations efforts, or PR firm work, Israel is maligned.  

“We are what we are, we are good for ourselves…” Israel is not Kishinyov. And we are not ashamed. Amazingly, neither are they.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a top 25 PR Agency.

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