B’nai B’rith Delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council Addresses Settlements Report, Unrelenting Bias Against Israel at the Council
B’nai B’rith International sent its annual leadership delegation to Geneva to address key issues facing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), including the council’s continued obsessive focus on Israel, Iran’s appalling domestic human rights record and its repeated threats against Israel and the devastating fighting in Syria.
Sixteen B’nai B’rith International leaders and supporters led by President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin met with representatives from some 40 countries.
Recently, the UNHRC released a report that was yet another example of its anti-Israel bias. The council-ordered “fact-finding mission” report stated that Israel must withdraw from all settlements or Israelis could be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court should “Palestine” sign on to the Rome treaty, as Palestinian leaders have repeatedly threatened to do. The panel also suggested that businesses cut ties to business interests in the settlements. The report is to be presented at the current session of the council and a follow-up resolution on the matter is expected later in the session.
“It’s this kind of bias that we’re here in Geneva to address,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “It’s completely unacceptable that time and time again this council has unfairly trained its eye on Israel, while ignoring many member states’ countless human rights abuses.”
The B’nai B’rith delegation also emphasized the negative effects of decisions and resolutions taken at the United Nations on the peace process.
“As long as U.N. bodies continue to pass biased resolutions against Israel, you can certainly bet that the Palestinians will prefer to internationalize its conflict with Israel instead of returning to negotiations without preconditions,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “We’re here to make sure that the Human Rights Council members understand that the actions of the council only aid in the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to circumvent direct peace talks.”
On March 13, B’nai B’rith leadership held a reception at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva, hosting numerous ambassadors. Joshua Lincoln representing Director-General of the U.N. Office in Geneva Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, addressed the delegation and its guests, as did Peter Mulrean, deputy permanent representative of the United States to the U.N. Office in Geneva.
In addition to Jacobs and Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith was represented by: Helene Briskman of London; Matthew Caplan of Washington, D.C.; Jay Feldman of Washington, D.C.; Michael Gellman of Washington, D.C.; Ralph Hofmann of Frankfurt, Germany; Jacques Jacubert of Paris; Yves Kamami of Paris; Charles Kaufman of Austin, Texas; David Matas of Winnipeg, Canada; David Michaels of New York; Joëlle Perelberg of Nice, France; Ada Sadoun of Grenoble, France; Gary Saltzman of Denver, Colo.; and Stéphane Teicher of Paris.