You have said that Israel has a right to self-defense. But, you’ve also added one caveat -- that there is no justification for attacking UN facilities, and especially for the high death toll among innocent civilians.
You are right. Every time an innocent person is hurt, it's a tragedy.
But let me add this, respected Secretary-General, you may remember that following the civil war which broke out in Somalia in 1991, the UN decided to send international forces to the capital of Mogadishu. Some 38,000 soldiers from 21 countries were sent to the battle. Their involvement in the crisis became increasingly complicated in 1993. The fighters the UN soldiers were operating against turned women and children into a human shield. Hundreds of dead were left on the streets.
UN spokesman, Major David Stockwell, explained the mass death of innocent people by stating that "there are no sidelines or spectator seats – the people on the ground are considered combatants."
It goes without saying that UN forces in Somalia received the full backing of the UN, despite the many civilian casualties. Even now, nobody knows the number of civilians who were killed. There were no rescue and reconstruction forces dispatched to the area because the situation got more and more complicated.
One thing is clear: Throughout all the clashes in Somalia in general, and in Mogadishu in particular, UN soldiers continued to fire directly at innocent people when rebel fighters were hiding between them.
Let's move on, Mr. Secretary-General. In the summer of 2009, Sri Lanka decided to crush the Tamil Tigers after years of terrorist activities. According to a UN report, 40,000 civilians were killed, or slaughtered, during the operation. Not only was there no global protest, not only were there no demonstrations, but the Human Rights Council praised Sri Lanka in a special resolution.
You want to speak about proportionality? Here's proportionality for you. Now let's move on.
In Russia's struggle against the Chechen rebels, and in the struggle of the United States and Britain against jihadist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been hundreds of casualties. More civilians than fighters were killed in the NATO bombings in Belgrade as well.
So please, Mr. Secretary-General, before you open your mouth and speak out against Israel, study the facts. A conflict follows a conflict. The outcome is known in advance: The claims being made against Israel are disproportionate. Israel's response is not disproportionate.
And one more thing. Before lashing out at Israel for targeting UN facilities, you are the one who owes Israel an explanation. Hamas rockets have been discovered in three UNRWA schools -- these are UN schools. At least in one of those incidents, the rockets were handed back over to Hamas.
Do you know why? Because as Israel has warned in the past, these schools have turned into hotbeds of incitement, a shelter for Hamas men, and apparently also as a storage facility for Hamas' weapon caches.
Please, listen to the France 24 TV reporter, as he reveals that rockets are being launched from within a densely crowded population in a facility adjacent to a UN building. We have yet to hear from you about an investigation. We have yet to hear an apology. We are waiting.
There is a lot more to say, Mr. Secretary-General. The question is: Are you willing to listen? You don't have to be pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. You just have to be an honest person.
And it’s important that you be honest because it gets worse. Hamas is highly encouraged by your declarations about the current conflict. Hamas will never defeat Israel on the battleground, but it is trying to defeat Israel in a propaganda war, by putting out false accusations and blaming Israel for war crimes.
Your pronouncements will not help promote a lasting ceasefire. They will not promote the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip. They will only strengthen Hamas.
You should know by now that Hamas is part of the global jihad. Hamas declares, in its Charter, and repeatedly in its broadcasts, that "Jews and Christians should be exterminated to the last one of them". Hamas keeps on declaring this nowadays. Some moderate parts of the Arab world understand their real motivations. They know that wherever global jihad prevails, death and destruction follow. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri has admitted: "We aren't leading our people today to destruction. We are leading them to death". Why don't you understand this?
If you have a shred of decency left in you, there is only one thing you should do: Retract your recriminations and ask for forgiveness for your false claims against Israel.
Ben-Dror Yemini is senior journalist for Israel's daily newspaper Yedioth Aaharonot, He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Industry of Lies."