B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International condemns the kidnappings of at least 90 Assyrian Christians by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in northeast Syria, in a horrendous act that appears to be a “retaliatory” measure for the latest Kurdish offensive.
B’nai B’rith urges the international coalition currently fighting ISIS to utilize all necessary means to avoid the massacre of these innocent people.
This is the latest example of both ISIS’ brutal tactics and its targeting of a minority group. Among other atrocities, ISIS assailed the Yazidis in Iraq by starving them on a mountain top and enslaving hundreds of women.
Furthermore, this diabolical act merely adds to the steady drumbeat of violence against Christians, their churches and property throughout much of the Middle East. Just this month Libyan militants claiming loyalty to ISIS released a video featuring mass beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians.
ISIS and other fanatic Islamist groups are a plague on the Middle East and the world. They must not be allowed to grow or spread their toxic program of violent hatred.
On Dec. 22, B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to request a clear, public pledge of American opposition to Palestinian and other efforts to impose political demands on Israel through the United Nations. The Palestinian Authority has launched a new effort to deliver an ultimatum for Israeli compliance with its political objectives, this time at the U.N. Security Council. As B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin write to Kerry in the letter, this latest circumvention of negotiations with Israel is unacceptable and the United States must consistently push back against these efforts, employing its veto power in the Security Council when necessary, if peace is to be achieved.
Jacobs and Mariaschin write: “As you know, the Palestinian Authority has openly spoken of its strategy to ‘internationalize’ the conflict with Israel, and this further politicization of global institutions in the context of an already difficult regional reality is the last thing needed in the pursuit of calm, reconciliation and peace in the Middle East. Sadly, [last] week, a draft Security Council resolution was circulated that would unacceptably dictate demands of Israel outside the framework of direct negotiations and mutual compromise with the Palestinians. In the event that its inherent ultimatum is not met, the Palestinian Authority has even threatened to import tensions with Israel to the International Criminal Court, dangerously risking impediment to essential counterterrorism efforts. Reportedly, other actors in the international community have also considered advancing their own related proposals at the Security Council.
The UN – along, of course, with the U.S., the European Union and Russia – is a member of the Quartet on Middle East peace, which long ago established that Palestinian-Israeli disputes can be resolved only through serious, meaningful bilateral talks. As a critical element of foreign policy, and a reflection of broad-based bipartisan commitment, the U.S. has consistently stood against the exploitation of the UN as a political tool against our key ally, Israel. It is vitally in the American national interest, and in the interest of a genuine and lasting peace, that the U.S. make known publicly and unambiguously that it will oppose a Palestinian posture of unilateralism and confrontation in global bodies, let alone motions that fail to uphold Israel’s security needs and identity as a Jewish state.”
To read the full letter, click here.