Why Is This UN Condemnation of Violence Unlike All Other UN Condemnations of Violence?

The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, has condemned the murder of a Palestinian child in the West Bank and offered his condolences to the victim’s family members. In his statement, he declared that the “absence of a political process and Israel’s illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses, have given rise to violent extremism on both sides.” Comparing this statement with Ban’s condemnations of other terrorist attacks during his tenure, Alan Baker notes a pattern:

[An] evidently standard pattern of [exists for the] UN secretary-general’s condemnations . . . together with expressions of condolence . . . to the government and people of the particular state where the act of terror occurred, and to the families of the victims, [followed by] calls for investigation. [This formula] has been consistently used as a matter of course following terrorist atrocities throughout the world. However, none of these condemnations has presumed to attach blame or to arbitrarily proffer political value judgments. . . .

[Furthermore, the] brutal massacre of 200 civilians by Islamic State terrorists in a Syrian border town [in] June 2015 did not merit any condemnation or condolence message by the secretary-general and Security Council. The deaths of at least 30 people in a suicide bombing in the same border region of Turkey did not merit a condemnation, either. . . .

After analyzing the secretary-general’s reactions, or lack thereof, to acts of terror, one realizes that, as in most issues regarding Israel, the classical UN double standard would appear to be universally applied, whatever the circumstances. . . . One may indeed ask if this is a deliberate mode of behavior on the part of the secretary- general and his staff, or perhaps merely inadvertently a singling-out of Israel [by force of habit].