B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International denounces the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee (WHC) for adopting a resolution that rejects Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.
The meeting took place in Krakow, Poland, mere miles from Auschwitz. At the request of Israel's ambassador, a moment of silence was held by participants for the victims of the Holocaust. The Cuban delegate, however, then requested that this be followed by a moment of silence for Palestinians killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—wildly offensive for the absurd implied equivalency to Holocaust victims, and also made perverse by the fact that the wording of the request made it a commemoration of "all" Palestinians killed in conflict, thus including numerous terrorists, whose goal it was to dehumanize and murder Jews in our era. While many delegates stood for Jews murdered in the Holocaust, there was an appalling number that also stood for the terrorists and applauded.
B'nai B'rith commends the three countries that voted against UNESCO's latest anti-Israel resolution: Burkina Faso, Jamaica and the Philippines. However, the decision of the four members of the European Union on the WHC—Croatia, Finland, Poland and Portugal—to merely abstain on the resolution is highly disappointing.
In June, B’nai B’rith wrote to delegates of the WHC urging them to reject such absurdly biased, inappropriate and damaging resolutions. Click here to read that letter.