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Congress & the Middle East: House Letter Calls on United Nations to Fight Anti-Semitism Worldwide

(August 2, 2005)

In August 2005, seventy members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Chairman of the UN Commission for Human Rights Makarim Wibisono expressing concern about anti-Semitism at the UN. They also called for the UN to fight anti-Semitism worldwide.

Dear Secretary-Geneal:

We write to thank you for your condemnation of Special Rapporteur Jean Ziegler's remarks calling the Gaza Strip “an immense concentration camp” and comparing Israelis to Nazis. Like you, we believe that this type of speech is "irresponsible" and we denounce anti- Semitism within the United Nations and elsewhere.

Regrettably, it appears that your denouncement of this type of anti-Semitic behavior has fallen upon deaf ears within the Commission on Human Rights, under which Mr. Ziegler serves. We have written to H.E. Makarim Wibisono, Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to request that he, too, publicly condemn Mr. Ziegler's deplorable statements, terminate his appointment and replace him. We request that you join us in our efforts urging Chairman Wibisono to take immediate action against Mr. Ziegler.

If the United Nations is to take serious steps in the direction of stamping out anti-Semitism worldwide, then it must begin with itself. Now is the time to send a strong message to those working under the guise of the United Nations that actions and speeches that breed anti- Semitism will not be tolerated.

The United States House of Representatives has worked diligently this year to seek reforms to the United Nations regarding anti-Semitism. Most notably, we seek your issuance and implementation of a directive that requires all employees of the United Nations and its specialized agencies to be subject to punitive action, including immediate dismissal, for making anti-Semitic statements or references. We ask that you work to secure the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly that: 1.) establishes mechanisms to officially and publicly condemn anti-Semitic statements; 2.) requires punitive action for anti-Semitic statements and references; 3.) holds employees and officials of the U.N., its specialized agencies, and member States responsible for anti-Semitic statements and references in any forum of the United Nations or its specialized agencies; and 4.) develops and implements education awareness programs about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism throughout the world, as part of an effort to combat intolerance and hatred. We also urge you to continue working toward further reduction of anti- Semitic language and anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

Again, we respectfully request that you urge the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to take disciplinary action against Mr. Ziegler without further delay. Furthermore, we look forward to working with you in your efforts to seek an end to the plague of anti-Semitism worldwide and anxiously await the end of this bigotry within the United Nations.

Read the Full Letter - Click Here

Sources: House Republican Study Committee (RSC)