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U.N. chief: Israel should consider Goldstone report

NEW YORK (JTA) — The U.N. secretary-general said Israel should take the Goldstone report’s findings on the Gaza war into consideration.

Ban Ki-moon, addressing a mostly Jewish crowd as the keynote speaker at the Anti-Defamation League’s annual gala dinner Oct. 30, said "I’m here tonight as a friend who is acutely aware of Israel’s security needs."

On the issue of the Goldstone report, Ban said, "When human rights are violated anywhere in the world we need accountabilty."

Ban also blasted Holocaust denial and said he had voiced his opinion on the matter during his last meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Let me state the obvious: Those who speak at the U.N. do not necessarily speak for the U.N.," he said.

Also at the dinner Ronan Tynan, the Scottish tenor who apologized for making a discriminatory remark about Jews a few days ago that caused a stir, delivered a dramatic rendition of "God Bless America" to a standing ovation.

Tynan, who occasionally sings Irving Berlin’s patriotic classic during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium, was invited by ADL National President Abraham Foxman, who said he accepted Tynan’s public apology as sincere.

"We need to give a message to people that they can be forgiven if they own up to their bigotry," Foxman said. "Otherwise it’s counterproductive to our fight against racism."

The Yankees had banned Tynan temporarily after the New York team had learned of his anti-Jewish comment.

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