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.
B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to Swiss Ambassador to the U.S. Martin Dahinden expressing serious concern over the upcoming meeting of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Switzerland summoned the parties last week in response to a Palestinian Authority request, and the meeting is expected to attack Israel for its actions in Gaza and the West Bank.
In the letter, B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “As depositor of the Conventions, Switzerland is obliged to execute this function responsibly and impartially. However, over the course of over half a century, the state parties to the Conventions have exclusively been convened to focus on Israel, a small democracy struggling against violent extremists sworn to its very destruction and to the indiscriminate targeting of its citizens.”
Click here to read the full letter.
B’nai B’rith Condemns U.N. Secretary-General for Ignoring Violent Extremism as “Root Cause” of Palestinian-Israeli Hostilities
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International condemns U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for attributing the 50-day summer hostilities between Israel and Hamas to “a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century” while speaking at the Cairo conference on reconstruction in Gaza on Oct. 12.
Ban said “we must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations.”
The secretary-general should refrain from making biased, inflammatory remarks perpetuating a false image of Israel as an occupying aggressor. Ban, in his comments, did make mention of Hamas rocket attacks that were “fired indiscriminately causing fear, panic and suffering.” However, he does not account for anti-Israel terrorists’ role in igniting and sustaining conflict—a stunning and inexplicable omission.
Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, just as it did in Sinai after reaching a peace treaty with Egypt. In return for leaving Gaza, Israel received intensified attacks and threats against its citizenry. Israel has also repeatedly offered Palestinian statehood and the provision of all of Palestinians’ needs in sweeping peace offers—but these have been declined without fail by the Palestinian Authority leadership. Hamas, for its part, is doctrinally committed to the total destruction of the Jewish state.
Combating other Islamist groups, like ISIS, while ignoring or handing propaganda victories to ones like Hamas is unconscionable and no service to advancing Palestinian-Israeli peace. The open fanaticism, terrorism and armament of Arab extremists is the patent “root cause” of recurring conflict with Israel.