Jerusalem vote statement 'very proper; I’m not sorry' – Israeli Ambassador

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Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, has said that anti-Israeli journalists in Ghana distorted his statement he issued following Ghana’s vote in support of the UN resolution which was against US President Donald Trump’s declaration and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Ghana was part of some 128 countries of the UN General Assembly that voted in favour of a resolution to impress on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A statement signed by Mr Mehl on Friday, 22 December 2017, said: “The Embassy of the State of Israel in Ghana … regrets the mistaken vote of Ghana against the State of Israel during the Special United Nation’s (UN) General Assembly sitting on Thursday, 21 December 2017 as the assembly adopted a resolution regarding Israel’s capital Jerusalem.

“We hope such mistake will not be repeated by Ghana in subsequent motions”.

However, a section of Ghanaians felt Mr Mehl used undiplomatic language and condemned his statement.

National Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, described the press statement as an insult to Ghana, insisting: “This is the greatest insult you can give to a nation and if I were President at this moment I’ll recall our ambassador to Israel and also sack the Ambassador of Israel”.

Responding to his critics on Class91.3FM’s World Affairs programme on Friday, 5 January, Mr Mehl said he was not surprised as his critics are in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Asked by the host, Dr Etse Sikanku, if he regrets the wording or language of the statement, he said: “I used a very proper language and it was twisted by some anti-Israeli journalists, anti-Christian journalists that for their reason they will like even to abolish Israel, so, I am not sorry for the wording. I am sorry that it was understood in a way that it was not meant to be. We don’t want this to happen again, it is very simple,” he added.

He explained that: “We in the State of Israel never threatened anyone that if you are not going to do so we are going to punish. We are disappointed deeply from the way that Ghana voted and I think I clarified it to the Ghana government as well”.

The Isaeli diplomat insisted that the entire voting process concerning the UN resolution is a big mistake because, “no one can tell any country in the world where its capital is,” and Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since independence, hence the rest of the world should respect that.

Mr Mehl was of the view that Israel “cannot tell Ghana [that] Accra is not your capital and you have to have your capital in Cape Coast or maybe Kumasi”.

For him, the world needs to accept the decision by Israel, which is a democratic sovereign state which decides its own policies and other matters.

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OPHILS: Jerusalem vote statement 'very proper; I’m not sorry' – Israeli Ambassador
Jerusalem vote statement 'very proper; I’m not sorry' – Israeli Ambassador
Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, has said that anti-Israeli journalists in Ghana distorted his statement he issued following Ghana’s vote in support of the UN resolution which was against US President Donald Trump’s declaration and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ghana was part of some 128 countries of the UN General Assembly that voted in favour of a resolution to impress on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A statement signed by Mr Mehl on Friday, 22 December 2017, said: “The Embassy of the State of Israel in Ghana … regrets the mistaken vote of Ghana against the State of Israel during the Special United Nation’s (UN) General Assembly sitting on Thursday, 21 December 2017 as the assembly adopted a resolution regarding Israel’s capital Jerusalem. “We hope such mistake will not be repeated by Ghana in subsequent motions”. However, a section of Ghanaians felt Mr Mehl used undiplomatic language and condemned his statement. National Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, described the press statement as an insult to Ghana, insisting: “This is the greatest insult you can give to a nation and if I were President at this moment I’ll recall our ambassador to Israel and also sack the Ambassador of Israel”. Responding to his critics on Class91.3FM’s World Affairs programme on Friday, 5 January, Mr Mehl said he was not surprised as his critics are in solidarity with the Palestinians. Asked by the host, Dr Etse Sikanku, if he regrets the wording or language of the statement, he said: “I used a very proper language and it was twisted by some anti-Israeli journalists, anti-Christian journalists that for their reason they will like even to abolish Israel, so, I am not sorry for the wording. I am sorry that it was understood in a way that it was not meant to be. We don’t want this to happen again, it is very simple,” he added. He explained that: “We in the State of Israel never threatened anyone that if you are not going to do so we are going to punish. We are disappointed deeply from the way that Ghana voted and I think I clarified it to the Ghana government as well”. The Isaeli diplomat insisted that the entire voting process concerning the UN resolution is a big mistake because, “no one can tell any country in the world where its capital is,” and Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since independence, hence the rest of the world should respect that. Mr Mehl was of the view that Israel “cannot tell Ghana [that] Accra is not your capital and you have to have your capital in Cape Coast or maybe Kumasi”. For him, the world needs to accept the decision by Israel, which is a democratic sovereign state which decides its own policies and other matters.
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