Sunday, 26 Sep 2021 - 20 of Tishri, 5782

Hundreds of lawmakers from Europe, North America and Israel urge end of bias against Israel at the United Nations

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The signatories are overwhelmingly European legislators and include government ministers, party leaders, parliamentary vice-presidents, and chairs of key committees.

312 cross-party lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel have urged EU countries and democracies worldwide to help end the discrimination against Israel at the United Nations.

Spearheaded by AJC’s Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), the interparliamentary statement comes ahead of the opening of the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The statement was sent to the governments of all EU member states, the UK, Norway and Switzerland, to the EU leadership as well as the UN Secretary General and the heads of major UN agencies.

The signatories are overwhelmingly European legislators and include government ministers, party leaders, parliamentary vice-presidents, and chairs of key committees.

The statement underline that the UN bias not only damages Israel but the UN’s own reputation and its effectiveness to tackle global problems. “Within the context of rising global antisemitism, the relentless, disproportionate, and ritualistic condemnation of the world’s only Jewish state at the UN is particularly dangerous and must finally end. Israel deserves attention and scrutiny, as does every other nation. But it also merits equal treatment – nothing more, nothing less,” reads the text.

“By violating its own purposes and principles, which commit the organization to ‘develop friendly relations among nations’ and to the ‘principle of the sovereign equality of all its members,’ the UN is undermining its credibility and losing public support,” the statements adds.

“The UN has shown a long-standing bias against Israel which is often targeted more frequently than all other countries combined. The time is long overdue to end this shameful practice. Democratic governments have a responsibility to bring about this much-needed change,” stated  Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl (from the EPP group) and chairman of the TFI group in the European Parliament.

“This statement couldn’t be more timely as next week the General Assembly will shamefully mark the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism. In 2001, the conference diverted from its original goals, turning into an anti-Israel and antisemitic hate fest. The Jewish state was demonized as racist and Jewish participants were intimidated amid slogans such as ‘Hitler Should Have Finished the Job,’” said Daniel Schwammenthal Director of the Brussels-based AJC Transatlantic Institute.

Romanian MEP Carmen Avram (S&D) also noted that ‘’like any other state, Israel obviously warrants scrutiny and sometimes criticism. However, the problem is that it is currently not being treated like any other state. This discrimination must end.”

Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius, from the Renew Europe group, said: “When Israel, the Middle Easts only true democracy and a leader in gender equality, is singled out for allegedly violating women’s rights, but regimes such as Iran are elected to the UN Women’s Rights Commission, then you know something is seriously flawed. We must finally fix this UN bias.”

The interparliamentary declaration concludes with three concrete demands:

  1. EU members and fellow democracies ought to reject the excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions.
  2. Reform the U.N. Human Rights Council to eliminate its permanent anti-Israel agenda Item 7.
  3. Abolish discriminatory committees and programs within the UN system that single out Israel.
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