B’nai B’rith International is calling for the dismissal of members of the United Nations’ latest anti-Israel “Commission of Inquiry” after odious remarks by its members and other blatant violations of its own sweeping terms and the U.N.’s operating principles.
This week, commission member Miloon Kothari told the Mondoweiss website—a fringe outlet that has been praised by a leading white supremacist for its strident opposition to Zionism, meaning support for Israel’s existence—that “social media” is “controlled largely by the Jewish lobby.” Exceeding predictions that the commission would advance a defamatory linking of racist “apartheid” policies to Israel, the Middle East’s only diverse democracy, he also said that accusing Israel of apartheid and even “ending ‘apartheid'” are “not sufficient.” And he again singled out Israel, the most rights-respecting country in its region, by asking why the world’s only Jewish state is “even a member of the United Nations.”
Earlier, another commission member, Chris Sidoti, attempted to neuter Jews’ right to call out genuine bigotry—at a time of surging global anti-Semitism, and ongoing discrimination and violence against Israelis—with a false, offensive claim that Jews dispense charges of anti-Semitism “like rice at a wedding.”
And commission head Navi Pillay—even though she and her fellow commissioners each had a public, long-standing record of hostile positions toward Israel—shamelessly asserted impartiality, saying, “We don’t come with any preconceived notions.”
“The U.N. is charged to uphold fairness and neutrality in its work, but is this commission fair and neutral?” asked Seth J. Riklin, B’nai B’rith International president. “Clearly not. The fact that the deck has predictably been stacked against Israel, and that these commissioners have not hesitated to hide their bias, necessitates that all countries funding U.N. operations speak out now.”
Daniel S. Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International CEO, added, “The U.N. Human Rights Council extended its singular record of prejudice against Israel with this newest of many anti-Israel commissions, but it made obvious its intentions by condemning Israel even before the commission took form. And the commissioners are again making very apparent their own intentions—with patently deplorable claims like ‘Jewish control of social media.'”
In an intervention last month at the Human Rights Council, B’nai B’rith Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels pointed to the commission’s first report as cause for disbanding the probe. That report identified Israeli policies, but not Palestinian extremism or violence, as the “root cause” of the Middle East conflict, advanced a libel of Israeli sexual attacks against Palestinian women with no mention at all of Israeli women, and repeatedly invoked the Golan Heights, even though the U.N. does not recognize the strategically vital plateau as part of Israel and did not include it in the commission’s mandate.
In response to claims of Israeli discrimination against Palestinians, Michaels asked the council head, “Where is the real discrimination, Mr. President? By citing even territory claimed by Syria’s murderous regime, this commission has exceeded its unprecedented mandate and must be disbanded.”
B’nai B’rith, which has responded to the commission by releasing video testimony of Israeli victims of recent Palestinian terrorism, will directly demand that Pillay, Kothari and Sidoti be dismissed by the Human Rights Council from their roles.