(Washington, D.C., March 24, 2021)--B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith condemns the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its passage of four anti-Israel resolutions—more than those targeting any other country in the world—as part of its rote, institutionalized discrimination against the world’s only Jewish state and the Middle East’s only democracy.
Three of the resolutions fell under the council’s Item 7—the only permanent agenda item dedicated to excoriating a single country, Israel—while the fourth was moved to a different item in a ploy to attract more support. The resolutions’ subjects were the Syrian-claimed Golan Heights, Palestinian self-determination, Israeli settlement communities and “accountability” for purported rights violations. The latter resolution gratuitously singled out Israel—which has led the world in inoculating its residents of all backgrounds, and which under bilateral agreements is not responsible for Palestinian health care but has provided assistance nonetheless—for a call to “ensure non-discriminatory access to vaccines” for COVID-19.
Over recent weeks, B’nai B’rith leaders around the world have conferred with numerous ambassadors and other diplomats at the council and made official interventions before the body. One such intervention, noting the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the U.N.’s World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, asserted that “delegitimization, demonization and double standards do not amount to criticism, they amount to bigotry.” B’nai B’rith had brought the largest multinational Jewish delegation to the Durban conference, which became notorious for manifestations of anti-Semitism but remains celebrated by the UNHRC.
No council member boasted a perfect record on the unjust anti-Israel resolutions. However, we commend those countries—including Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Malawi, the Marshall Islands and the United Kingdom—that mostly opposed the motions. Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Togo and Ukraine were also among those that opposed or abstained on key resolutions.
We decry those countries, particularly likeminded states such as Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland and Uruguay, that failed to consistently stand up for principle and fairness at the council.
B’nai B’rith will continue to lead Jewish communal engagement at the U.N., as it has since 1945.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.