More than 300 lawmakers — mainly from Europe and North America, including three U.S. congressmen and four members of Israel’s Knesset — demanded that the European Union (EU) and world leaders take action against institutional anti-Israel discrimination at the United Nations .
Spearheaded by the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), the historic statement comes ahead UN General Assembly opening its 76th session Tuesday.
Together with over 300 lawmakers, I call on the 🇺🇳@UN General Assembly to stop the systematic discrimination at the UN. Our statement, with 300+ signatures, denounces the bias against Israel and urge European countries to support #Israel in the UN! ⤵️ https://t.co/9ZtxfjFFil
— David Lega (@DavidLega) September 13, 2021
TFI leadership sent the statement on Monday to the governments of all EU member states, EU leadership, the UN Secretary-General, and heads of major UN agencies.
The signatories included government ministers, party leaders, and committee chairs, who all believe the UN’s longstanding bias against the Jewish State damages not only Israel, but the organization’s reputation and ability to tackle global problems.
“Within the context of rising global anti-Semitism, 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,” the text reads in part.
The declaration concludes with three concrete demands: vote against the excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly; reform the anti-Semitic Human Rights Council by cancelling its anti-Israel Agenda Item 7; and shut down discriminatory committees and programs “with a specific mandate to promote an anti-Israel agenda.”
Martin Engelberg, incoming TFI chair in the Austrian National Assembly, claimed that “the surreal torrent of one-sided resolutions condemning Israel out of all proportion serves to demonize the world’s only Jewish state. This is an outrage and we Europeans have a special duty to put an end to it.”
Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 one-sided resolutions singling out Israel for “human rights violations.” More than one-in-five of the resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council focus solely on Israel.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley worked two years to rid the organization of its endemic anti-Semitism. The United States’ current UN ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has made reassuring comments so far but with limited action.
Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Brussels-based EU office, co-authored a Newsweek piece Monday on the situation.
Within the essay, he explained, “A Europe that wants to stand for democracy, human rights and the rules-based international order can no longer be complicit in this cynical game, which treats Israel by separate rules and in so doing undermines the UN’s very own integrity and efficacy. Of course, given the majorities at the world body, European opposition to anti-Israel bias would not in itself end that bias. But if Europe joined ranks with the U.S. and the other anglophone democracies such as Canada, the U.K. and Australia [which often join Washington in opposing anti-Israel bias], they could deprive these bigoted resolutions of their democratic legitimacy.”