B’nai B’rith International condemns the special release issued by four of the five Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) members, castigating Israel for “the use of disproportionate force” during its defensive military incursion into the Gaza Strip and insinuating Israel might be guilty of violating international humanitarian law.
The presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela all signed the special release that echoed and endorsed last week’s anti-Israel resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling for an investigation into what it termed “human rights violations.”
B’nai B’rith salutes Paraguay, the fifth member of MERCOSUR, and its principled stance in refusing to sign the special release and thus denying it resolution status.
Though the special release does condemn attacks against Israeli civilians, it does not once mention Hamas by name or its deplorable tactics, including using Palestinian civilians as human shields.
The statement also calls for ending the blockade around Gaza while ignoring Hamas’ armament and terrorist infrastructure, including tunnels leading into Israel. This is clearly not the solution to ending the conflict because removing blockade measures potentially allows for further, unfettered mobility of weapons, tunnel building construction materials and Palestinian terrorists.
Overall, the special release ignores Hamas’ indifference to human life among Palestinians themselves. Combine that with an open-ended accusation of Israel of violating international law, and it shows an indifference to the complexities of the conflict as a whole.
Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador Withdraw Ambassadors from Israel
B’nai B’rith International leaders also wrote to the presidents of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru expressing deep disappointment in recalling their respective ambassadors from Tel Aviv for “consultations” in their home countries.
B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin wrote of the ambassador recall: “Such actions do not contribute to promote calm and stability in the region, but rather serve to encourage the internationally recognized terror group, Hamas.”
They continued: “Recalling your ambassador from Israel is at odds with your stated commitment to oppose terrorism in all its forms. We ask that you address this concerning issue in order to once again restore our faith in your position among the community of democracies.”
Click here to read the full letter.