Israel Reengages With U.N. Human Rights Council; B’nai B’rith Calls On Western Democracies To Help Afford Equality To Jewish State
B’nai B’rith International reaffirms its support for Israel as the country has decided to reengage with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following a hiatus that began in March 2012. With Israel taking the risk of engagement with a body that has subjected it to singular mistreatment, B’nai B’rith urges Western democracies to now do their part. First by consistently refusing participation in the council’s inherently discriminatory “Item 7” discussions—the only item on the UNHRC agenda dedicated to scrutinizing a single country—and also by admitting Israel, like other countries, to a regional group.
“After years in which Israel has been continuously abused at the Human Rights Council, returning to direct engagement is a bold step and a demonstration of responsiveness to foreign appeals,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Now the fellow democracies that urged Israel to return to the council need to finally include Israel in the Western European and Others Group in Geneva, as they do in New York. Adding Israel to this group would be an important first step toward curbing systemic discrimination against Israel at the world body.”
“With Israel reengaging the Human Rights Council, we hope that others in the international community will recognize how unfairly the council has treated the Jewish state, specifically, but not only, through matters involving Item 7,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Continuing to include Item 7 on the Human Rights Council agenda flies in the face of the U.N.’s basic, stated principles. The international community must understand this and, indeed, should join Israel in its fight, if the U.N. is to have any credibility as an institution protecting human rights and promoting peace.”