UN official justifies kidnapping of soldiers

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
A severe confrontation broke out this week between the Israeli ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food who justified the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers in Lebanon and said that Hizballah is not a terror organization.

Ziegler visited Lebanon last month and wrote a report blaming Israel for war crimes and said that Israel must pay reparations to the Lebanese government. In an interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Ahbar, Ziegler said that he opposes the definition of Hizballah as a terrorist organization. According to Ziegler, every attempt of Hizballah to bring to the release of their prisoners in diplomatic ways has failed and he “understands Hizballah for kidnapping soldiers in order to exchange them for prisoners.”

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yitzhak Levanon, blasted Ziegler during the deliberations of the Human Rights Council - the top UN body for human rights. Levanon compared Ziegler’s words to the words of Nasrallah who called to uproot Israel. Levanon said that with his words, Ziegler gave legitimacy to a murderous terror organization. Ziegler was asked to respond, and said he does not understand why the Israeli ambassador is comparing him to Nasrallah.

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