A B’nai B’rith International delegation has made its annual visit to Geneva for the main yearly session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), meeting with ambassadors from six continents to advocate on priority concerns including the body’s discriminatory treatment of Israel relative to all other U.N. member states.
The delegation met with dozens of ambassadors and other senior diplomats—from the United States, Israel, Argentina, Canada, Ukraine, Morocco, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Austria, Italy, Australia, Greece and the Czech Republic along with the European Union, the Vatican and others—as well as with new High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk.
B’nai B’rith staff and lay representatives from multiple countries urged against supporting some four rote anti-Israel resolutions before the council, more than those targeting any other country in the world. They also decried the continuing scrutinizing of the Jewish state alone under a dedicated permanent agenda item, a council-mandated “database” singling out for stigmatization only companies operating in Palestinian-contested Israeli-controlled territory, the extreme partisan statements of a dedicated UNHRC “special rapporteur” on Palestinian rights and the latest—and most sweeping—“commission of inquiry” populated exclusively by longstanding anti-Israel ideologues.
During the B’nai B’rith meetings, also discussed were other acute global challenges including wide-ranging rights abuses by the regime of Iran, the devastating war in Ukraine and persistent anti-Semitism in many countries.
Additionally, B’nai B’rith delivered the first of several official public interventions at the council itself, on the Middle East as well as anti-Semitism.
The delegation was led by CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and Chair of U.N. Affairs Millie Magid, and included Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, Former Senior Vice President and B’nai B’rith Representative to UNESCO and the Council of Europe Stéphane Teicher, International Board of Governors member Larry Magid, B’nai B’rith Canada Senior Honorary Counsel David Matas, and B’nai B’rith Representatives to the U.N. in Geneva Azaria Acher, Sonia Elkrief, Anita Winter and Nurit Braun. In addition, Michael Netter, of Geneva, participated in our meetings.
Distinguished by a dedicated Office of United Nations Affairs and by accredited on-the-ground representation at U.N. forums worldwide, including in Geneva, B’nai B’rith has led Jewish engagement with the world body since 1945.