WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the United Nations has “been an incubator for Israel-bashing” and that he hopes Israel will be “treated fairly” in the UN one day.
“Another place where cloaked anti-Semitism lurks is in the halls of the United Nations. The UN singles out Israel more than any other nation, especially in the Human Rights Council, which remains hell-bent on admonishing the only beachhead of democracy and representative government and equal rights in the Middle East,” Schumer said at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum today.
“I was heartened to hear the new secretary-general recently say he would be on the front lines in the fight against anti-Semitism, and he proclaimed that Israel must be treated as any other state in the UN. And just last week, [Israeli Ambassador] Danny Danon was elected vice president of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly – that’s progress,” he added.
Schumer continued, “AJC played a role in that as well, and your continued engagement as a group with UN officials in Turtle Bay is very important. At the UN, we can never let our guard down.”
Schumer urged the U.S. to speak up when Israel is singled out at the UN.
“Since the days of ‘Zionism is racism,’ the UN has been an incubator for Israel-bashing, a forum where Israel is almost always the villain and never the victim. We should all be wary of it. I hope that, one day it will happen. Israel will come to be treated fairly in the UN,” he said.
“But until that day comes, the U.S. must always come to the aid of our friend Israel at the UN, and it must continue to serve as a bulwark against smear campaigns and efforts to isolate Israel. We can’t be silent when the UN singles Israel out for condemnation,” he added.
Schumer argued that the Obama administration should have vetoed Resolution 2334, which declared Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law, in December and said the U.S. “should never use the United Nations as a forum to put pressure on Israel of any kind.”
Schumer slammed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as a “deeply biased campaign aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish State.”
“There’s no greater example than this insidious effort to harm the Jewish State than through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions,” he said. “The global BDS movement is a deeply biased campaign aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish State and its supporters, sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly, but all of them practice a modern form of anti-Semitism, and we have to call them out for that.”
Schumer said the BDS movement is silent about the human rights abuses happening in the Middle East.
“BDS condemns Israel and seek to impose boycotts solely on the Jewish State, but willfully turn a blind eye to nations that actually violate human rights. When Iran sponsors terror and executes dissenters, BDS movement is quiet. When Arab nations jail journalists and punish homosexuality with prison sentences and physical abuse, BDS is nowhere to be found,” he said.
“And that’s because the State of Israel is all too frequently measured by a different double standard than the rest of the world and it’s up to us to fight these efforts tooth and nail. They are not only unjust and immoral – they’re counter-productive in achieving a truly lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added.
Schumer applauded AJC’s “Governors United Against BDS” initiative. He also encouraged all states to move forward with laws similar to the anti-BDS law passed in New York.
“Our state of New York has passed a law that says if your business or university boycotts Israel, then New York will boycott you. Just last week, Nevada did the same. We should call on every governor of every state to pass the same exact law,” he said. “On the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, let’s be clear that many BDS supporters have the same goal as the armies that amassed on Israel’s border to annihilate the Jewish State – but make no mistake, as we defeated them, the BDS supporters will be defeated as well.”
Referring to the terrorist attacks in London over the weekend, Schumer called on the world to work together to combat terrorism.
“The horrible, horrible attacks in London over the weekend are another reminder that the global community faces global threats to the values and the principles we’ve long cherished. We will only be able to confront, and ultimately beat back these threats by working together, standing shoulder to shoulder,” Schumer said.
“The whole world has experience the horror of terrorism, but 30 to 40 years ago it was only Israel that experienced it. The rest of the world didn’t pay too much attention and it grew and grew and grew,” he added. “We can never make that mistake again wherever terrorism rears its ugly head.”