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B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International strongly opposes the Palestinian Authority’s campaign to become a member state of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It is expected that the UNWTO will consider the Palestinian bid later this week.
The Palestinians must not be allowed to upend the international order, and enjoy treatment not afforded any other group, by being admitted to international organizations as a “state” before they have actually earned that status. Such admittance only encourages the Palestinians to continue rejecting the direct negotiations and meaningful compromise with Israel that would provide for the fundamental needs of both sides.
Premature admittance of the Palestinians would devastate the standing of the UNWTO itself. The Palestinians also have a consistent record of derailing U.N. bodies with inflammatory political resolutions against the Jewish state. This is precisely what happened upon the admission of “Palestine” to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011.
Only when the Palestinians finally accept the legitimacy of Israel’s existence as a democratic Jewish state—and agree to genuinely live alongside it in peace—can they enjoy the benefits of responsible membership in the international community.