B’nai B’rith International addressed the “High Level Forum on Global Antisemitism” on Sept. 7 at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The discussions were organized by the United States, Canada, Israel and the European Union as follow-up to a first-time informal meeting on the subject held at the U.N. General Assembly early last year. Among those giving remarks were U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft, ambassadors representing the conference sponsors, and both government and civil society officials charged with tackling the ongoing scourge of anti-Semitism.
B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith Europe President Daniel Citone and B'nai B'rith Canada Senior Honorary Counsel David Matas were among the B'nai B'rith leaders in attendance.
Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, who addressed the forum, said: "we cannot avoid dwelling on the topic of the so-called 'new' anti-Semitism, in which the world’s only Jewish democratic state, and all those seen as tied to it, are demonized or mistreated in exceptional ways... Medieval and more recent European anti-Semitic themes have by now long been imported into predominantly Muslim countries, which have also then increasingly been the origin of migrants to Europe."
Of Israel, he added, "the fact that prominent but fundamentally political organizations like the U.N. routinely not only condemn it more than any other state, but more than all states combined, lends moral fuel to efforts that promote" the harming of Jewish state, but "even more so make vulnerable Jewish minorities in the Diaspora, and especially Jewish students, whose peers have no first-hand memory of the incitement and dramatic horrors of the Holocaust." Citing the U.N.'s Durban conference that singled out Israel for characterization as racist, and a survey that found that Europeans consider Israel the leading threat to world peace, he concluded that "unnuanced, utterly unbalanced" rhetoric against Israel "does not stop at Israel."