B’nai B’rith Tells U.N. High Commissioner On Human Rights To Oppose, Not Enable, Anti-Israel Boycott
B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan to express alarm over his reported preparation of a “blacklist” of Israeli and other businesses deemed to be tied to Palestinian-demanded territory. These types of blacklists discriminate against the only democratic nation in the Middle East, and they further the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose agenda deepens conflict.
In their letter, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin write: “We appeal to you to oppose, not facilitate, partisan efforts to single out Jewish Israelis or those doing business with them for economic warfare tactics such as boycotts or divestment campaigns. These types of discriminatory and hostile maneuvers, not least when applied to only one side of only one territorial dispute, deepen and export conflict and hardship rather than promote prosperity and reconciliation. The Middle East—too long home to a destructive and unjust Arab boycott of Israel—requires more commerce and cooperation, not further divisiveness and impediments to coexistence. Adding to Israelis' sense of isolation and the patent politicization even of global human rights mechanisms will not serve the aspirations of Palestinians, thousands upon thousands of whom earn a livelihood working in and trading with precisely those Jewish communities targeted for punitive sanctions by anti-Israel activists.”
“The international Quartet on Middle East peace, of which the U.N. is a member, long ago affirmed that the resolution of Palestinian-Israeli disputes can only take place through meaningful, comprehensive and direct bilateral negotiations. We urge your Office to insist that issues such as those related to settlements be addressed accordingly, and not through one-sided pressure campaigns that help make peace even more elusive,” the letter concluded.