Ahead of the opening of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 14, 313 cross-party lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel called upon EU countries and other world democracies to end discrimination against Israel at the United Nations as part of a campaign by Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), an initiative created by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
The leadership of TFI sent the Transatlantic Declaration statement to the governments and leadership of all EU states, the UK, Norway and Switzerland, along with the UN Secretary General and the heads of major UN agencies.
The signatories of the statement were mainly European lawmakers, and included government ministers, party leaders and key committee chairs.
The signatories stressed in the statement that UN bias against Israel damages not only Israel but the UN’s reputation as an effective body tackling global issues.
“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 statement said.
“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 TFI declaration urged EU members to reject the excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions, reform the UN Human Rights Council to remove permanent anti-Israel agenda Item 7 (“Human rights situation in Palestine”), and to eliminate committees and programs at the UN that systemically single out Israel.
AJC’s cross-party Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) interparliamentary group was founded in July 2019. The organization includes over 130 lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel and is dedicated to strengthening the transatlantic alliance with Israel.
“It is heartening to see the growing transatlantic consensus to finally end the shameful discrimination against Israel at the UN,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of AJC’s Brussels-based EU office and TFI secretary general.
“AJC has previously praised the EU for its commitment to extend the fight against anti-Semitism across all policy areas, which naturally also includes foreign policy. Addressing the UN’s bias against the world’s only Jewish state must therefore be part of this initiative.”
Schwammenthal added: “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 anti-Semitic hate fest. The Jewish state was demonized as racist and Jewish participants were intimidated amid slogans such as ‘Hitler Should Have Finished the Job.’”
In 2020, a campaign by TFI urging the EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization was signed onto by over 230 cross-party lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel.