B’nai B’rith International concluded its annual leadership delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where top staff and volunteer leaders advocated on important human rights issues and challenged the body’s relentless bias against Israel.
From March 13 to March 16, more than 25 B’nai B’rith leaders and supporters, including four student representatives from the national Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), met with senior diplomats from some 40 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin led the delegation.
“We meet in Geneva every year to stand up for global human rights and for Israel, and let the United Nations Human Rights Council—let the world—know that the nation-state of the Jewish people is a vibrant and remarkable democracy that does not warrant the slew of shameful condemnatory resolutions the UNHRC passes every year,” Saltzman and Mariaschin said from Geneva.
During the trip, the delegation held meetings with Council officials and discussed serial human rights abusers such as Syria and Iran, as well as the UNHRC’s obsessive criticism of Israel under “Item 7”—a permanent agenda item aimed only at Israel.
In addition to Saltzman and Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith was represented by: Chairman of the Executive Peter Perlman, Detroit, Mich.; Senior Vice President Sheila Mostyn, Toronto; Senior Vice President Eric Engelmayer, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; Chair of the International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy Charles Kaufman, Austin, Texas; B’nai B’rith Europe President Daniel Citone, Rome; Executive Committee Member Stéphane Teicher, Paris; BBYLN Chair and Executive Committee Member Eduard Redensky, Chicago; Board of Governors Member Irving Silver, Mobile, Ala.; Chair of the Council on U.N. Affairs Michael Nachman, New York; B’nai B’rith International Center on Human Rights and Public Policy Board Member Lawrence Magid, New York; BBYLN Vice Chair Rachel Silvestain, Chicago; B’nai B’rith Canada Senior Honorary Counsel David Matas, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, New York; Director of London Bureau of International Affairs Jeremy Havardi, London; Dr. Owen Perlman, Detroit; President of the Mordecai Lodge Ada Sadoun, Grenoble, France; Board of Governors Member and Executive Director of AEPi Andy Borans, Indianapolis; Azaria Acher, Geneva; Nurit Braun, Geneva; Klaus Netter, Geneva; Richard Sadoune, Geneva; and Anita Winter, Zurich. Josh Greenburg, Adam Volman and Gal Shahaf represented AEPi.
Michaels coordinated the meetings in Geneva together with U.N. Affairs Program Officer Oren Drori, from New York.
Part of the delegation will continue on to Paris to meet with key government officials including United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova.