The Ambassador of Israel to Iceland has condemned former Foreign Minister, Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, for asking that people not only pray for Paris but for the Lebanese, Iraqis and Palestinians as well.
“Yes, let’s pray for Paris,” said Jón Baldvin in an interview with Bylgjan. “But let’s not only pray for Paris, let’s pray for the world. Let’s pray for the 60 million people, which is roughly the population of France, that are displaced globally. Let’s pray for Beirut, which was attacked by a suicide bomber though that did not make the news. Pray for Baghdad for what happened there. Pray for the Palestinians killed in the occupied territories. I could go on and on about those that need to be prayed for.”
The Israeli ambassador to Iceland, Raphael Schutz, who operates out of Oslo, has responded with a statement criticising Jón Baldvin for including civilian Palestinians among the displaced and victims of terrorism.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the radio declaration by former minister of foreign affairs Hannibalsson, in which he compared the Paris terror attack with actions of legitimate self-defense taken by Israel,” reads the statement from Schutz. “It is a well-known and documented fact that the toll of civilian casualties among Palestinians in Gaza has been significantly lower both in absolute numbers and percentage in comparison with the outcome of western forces’ activity in recent years in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. Prominent military experts have confirmed that this is the result of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) going to extraordinary length in order to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas and other Palestinian extremists who attack Israel, seeking its destruction, are not different from the perpetrators of the Paris massacre. Whoever refuses to see this crystal clear reality, like Mr. Hannibalsson, is taken by his own prejudice and moral distortion.”