Annan calls Ziegler's comparison "irresponsible"

Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, has called a statement of the UN representative Jean Ziegler as "irresponsible". Swiss citizen Ziegler had compared the Gaza Strip to an "immense concentration camp" at a pro-Palestinian rally last week. The human rights group UN Watch last week alerted Annan and other senior UN officials and urged them to condemn Jean Ziegler's "obscene analogy." Ziegler, who is UN special rapporteur on the right to food, also called on a pro-Palestinian meeting to pressure Europeans to boycott Israeli goods. "Mr. Ziegler's hateful remarks come precisely one year after Kofi Annan's call for vigorous action against anti-Semitism," said UN Watch chief Hillel Neuer. "Under the European Union's definition of anti-Semitism, 'drawing comparisons of Israeli policy to that of the Nazis is a classic manifestation of this form of hatred.'" UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Friday: "The United Nations believes any comparison between conditions in Gaza and those of Nazi concentration camps is irresponsible."

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