B’nai B’rith International, which boasts global grassroots and has spearheaded Jewish engagement with the United Nations beginning in 1945, is leading an annual marathon of communal meetings with world leaders attending the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session. In dozens of meetings in New York, B’nai B’rith’s leadership delegation is highlighting the threats posed by Iran, urging U.N. fairness toward Israel, opposing Palestinian efforts to circumvent direct peacemaking with the Jewish state and encouraging more concerted efforts to tackle global anti-Semitism.
The General Assembly has attracted the largest group of heads of state and government since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many countries whose senior representatives B’nai B’rith has already met are those of Germany, Greece, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Bahrain, Guatemala, Austria, Egypt, Azerbaijan and the Vatican. B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin also joined a meeting of Jewish leaders with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi exploited his speech to the General Assembly to call the “Zionist regime” a “savage power”—and to hold up a photograph of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian responsible for plotting terrorism internationally. B’nai B’rith has underscored the acute danger of both Iran’s nuclear activity and its sponsorship of terror, among other malign behavior.
B’nai B’rith is the only Jewish organization with a longstanding, dedicated Office of United Nations Affairs, and will again be making official interventions at the U.N. Human Rights Council during its session in Geneva this month.