U.N. Chief Praises Mideast Media for Promoting Palestinian-Israeli Peace, Mum on Incitement

By Sabrina Gladstone | June 27, 2012 | 7:25 PM EDT

In this photo released by the United Nations, President Barack Obama shakes hands with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/The United Nations, Mark Garten)

(CNSNews.com) – Addressing a seminar on peace in the Middle East this month, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon praised Middle Eastern media outlets for their “dedication and courage in promoting transparency, accountability and democracy.”

Ban urged the media “to continue to promote peace and increase mutual understanding between communities, especially Palestinians and Israelis.”

The June 12 U.N.-backed seminar, which occurs annually, seeks to “enhance dialogue and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, while sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine and the peace process.”

In his statement, Ban remarked that “the regional awakening based on the ideals of freedom, dignity and non-violence cannot be complete without a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

He stressed the importance of creating “the conditions for meaningful negotiations that will resolve the core permanent status issues” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But Brooke Goldstein, director of the Children’s Rights Institute, said Ban neglected to address an important stumbling block to peace in the Middle East: “the ongoing, illegal, and state-sponsored education of innocent Muslim children towards violence.”

“Blatantly absent from the Secretary General's statement was any mention of the multitude of Middle Eastern television programs aimed at indoctrinating children towards hate and suicidal-homicidal violence,” she said, citing programming on outlets like Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV, Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV, and Iranian TV.

In February, Al-Manar TV, which is based in Lebanon and has been banned in the U.S., Germany, France and Spain, aired a talk show in Arabic in which the family of slain Hezbollah terror mastermind Imad Mughniyah encouraged Mughniyah’s grandson, Imad, to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and “join the resistance.”

Al-Aqsa TV – also banned in the U.S., Germany, and France – featured a puppet show for young viewers in which a Muslim child puppet tells a puppet depicting President George W. Bush that he is “impure” and then stabs him to death.

“There is no excuse for the human rights community and Ki-Moon to turn their backs on this form of egregious child abuse perpetrated against innocent Muslim children,” Goldstein said.

She urged Ban “to correct his false statement and properly use the platform of the media seminar to expose and respond to the hate programming emanating from the Middle East and its devastating impact on its innocent viewers.”

CNSNews.com asked Ban spokesman Eduardo Del Bouey whether the secretary-general would release a statement calling on media outlets like Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Manar TV to reform their programming so that it would not encourage intolerance or violence.

“The secretary-general is not going to condemn an entire people,” for the actions of a few networks, Del Bouey replied.

Ban's comments came shortly before Hamas launched more than 70 Kassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel over the course of three days.


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