All 100 US Senators Tell United Nations Anti-Israel Bias ‘Must Change’

U.S. Congress responds to anti-Israel bias at the U.N. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Getting the entire United States Senate to agree on anything is a challenge, given that it is comprised of bitterly divided political parties. A recent letter to the United Nations from all 100 U.S. Senators acknowledged this reality, but then said, “We are united in our desire to see the United Nations improve its treatment of Israel and to eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms.” The Washington Post reported that the full 100 member Senate signed the letter to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, a copy of which was obtained by newspaper and also posted to the website of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

“Too often, the U.N. is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing the lofty goals of its founders. These actions have at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism, and distracted certain U.N. entities from their original missions,” said the letter. “…Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing.”

In particular, the letter called for the elimination or reform of committees that “far too often serve no purpose other than to attack Israel,” as well as reforms by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which “downplays its role in perpetuating troubling anti-Israel bias and activities.”

It also challenged the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proposals that “target Israel and deny the Jewish and Christian connections to Jerusalem,” as well as the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which it called “the most troubling.”

“Charged with shining a light on gross human rights violations, the UNHRC—whose membership currently includes some of the world’s worst human rights violators—instead devotes time to unwarranted attacks against Israel,” said the letter, which again called for reforms, including the removal of the standing agenda item discussing Israel.

The letter subtly hinted at potential consequences should the U.N. fail to make reforms by pointing out that the U.S. is the largest financial contributor to the U.N., as well as its principal founding member. The letter encouraged additional efforts by the Secretary General to push back against anti-Israel bias and by offering to work with the U.N. to eliminate such bias and battle anti-Semitism.

“We are deeply committed to international leadership and to advancing respect for human rights. But continued targeting of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. entities is unacceptable,” said the letter. “This situation must change. We urge you to engage member states in a comprehensive effort to directly confront and root out this bias.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed his appreciation for the letter on Twitter. “I thank all 100 US senators for standing up for Israel at the UN. #keepit100,” tweeted the Israeli leader.

The letter comes ahead of another resolution challenging Israel’s connection to Jerusalem by UNESCO. The resolution set to go to a vote, expected to take place on May 2, was slammed by Israel on their Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

“Contrary to the recommendation of UNESCO’s director-general and despite the promises and statements made in the past year by various leaders, UNESCO continues the ritual of proposing an anti-Israel resolution that criticizes every action Israel takes in Jerusalem, adopts past resolutions denying the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, and recycles political condemnations against Israel concerning the Gaza Strip,” said the Israeli statement.

“…Israel expects all UNESCO member countries to vote against this absurd resolution.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 30, 2017)

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