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B’nai B’rith President Seth J. Riklin and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:

B’nai B’rith deplores the vote in the United Nations General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee, known as the Fourth Committee, to refer Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The resolution asks the ICJ to rule on the legality of Israel’s control over territories won during the defensive Six-Day War of 1967, including the West Bank, historically called Judea and Samaria, and the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel fully and unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip some 17 years ago—though the area was then forcibly seized, and used as a launch pad for intensified terrorism, by Hamas jihadists.

An ICJ ruling calling illegal Israeli Jews’ presence at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall would have the same moral validity as a 2004 ICJ ruling that ignored Israel’s defensive needs in delegitimizing the construction of a life-saving security fence to curb Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians.

The referral resolution, which is expected to now head to the full General Assembly for confirmation, follows on the recommendation of a recent report by the latest U.N. anti-Israel “Commission of Inquiry,” an entity mired in controversy over anti-Semitic rhetoric by its members. B’nai B’rith critiqued and condemned the Commission’s report, as its prior, initial one.

The referral of Israel to the ICJ represents a new escalation in Palestinians’ exploitation of the U.N. to isolate, demonize and inflict damage on the State of Israel. Though non-binding, an unfavorable ICJ ruling would further energize discriminatory boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel and its citizens. The Palestinian leadership has long sought to avoid direct negotiations and peacemaking with Israel by “internationalizing” the conflict with the democratic Jewish state. The strategy of weaponizing U.N. institutions is intended to force Israel alone to make yet more far-reaching concessions, even as Palestinians continue to be complicit in acute violence, incitement and rejection of Israel’s legitimacy.

This approach endorsed by the Fourth Committee will only succeed in further delaying a just, lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by encouraging continued Palestinian intransigence. Yet far too many countries have enabled this corrosive path at the U.N.

We sincerely thank those countries that voted against the resolution.

The motion for ICJ referral is not the only anti-Israel resolution adopted by the General Assembly, which excoriates Israel more than all other countries as a matter of routine. The vote was part of a raft of yearly anti-Israel measures at the Fourth Committee that will also make their way to the body’s plenary over the coming weeks. The U.N.’s anti-Israel obsession continues to fundamentally undercut the credibility and standing of the organization as a whole.