B’nai B’rith International denounces proceedings yesterday at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The U.N. body continued to perpetuate its anti-Israel bias as it debated creating a “fact-finding mission” on West Bank settlements and opened discussion of anti-Israel agenda Item 7.
“These are all just more indications of the inherent anti-Israel bias of this supposedly impartial entity,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs. “Again and again, the UNHRC singles out Israel for supposed human rights violations while rarely addressing egregious violations of human rights by repressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.”
Five resolutions on Israel are scheduled to be presented to the council during this 19th session— four of them submitted by “Palestine,” which is not a U.N. member state. “The U.N.’s allowance of a non-member state to submit resolutions is a repeated example of pre-judgment by the world body, a member of the international quartet on Middle East peace, of final status issues to be settled by the parties to the conflict,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
In the context of Item 7, which singles out Israel for scrutiny during every regular session of the UNHRC, the council discussed a report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—composed almost entirely of charges by Syria of Israeli human rights violation on the Golan Heights—and a resolution condemning Israel for those unsubstantiated violations.
Klaus Netter, B’nai B’rith’s representative at the United Nations in Geneva, delivered a statement to the council on this subject. In his intervention, he observed, “The farcical crocodile tears shed by the Syrian regime for the residents of the Golan point to the absurdity of giving a regime so soundly condemned for its human rights violations a platform in this Council to point a finger of reproach at the only country in the region where governments change as the result of democratic elections.”
Separately, Hamas official Ismail Al-Ashqar spoke at a side event to the UNHRC organized by a Sudanese non-governmental organization. Mariaschin said: “Hamas openly engages in terrorism. It is outrageous for the leader of a terrorist organization to be allowed access to the United Nation’s European headquarters in Geneva.”
Last week, B’nai B’rith sent a delegation to Geneva to meet with various high-level officials. B’nai B’rith, which has had representatives at the United Nations in New York since its founding in San Francisco in 1945, is the only Jewish organization with a full-time presence at the world body and at its agencies in Geneva, Paris, Vienna and Santiago.