B’Nai B’Rith Commends the Netherlands for Refusing to Recognize Palestinian State Declaration

B’nai B’rith also praises the Dutch government for defunding non profit organizations engaging in anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities.

–by Sharon Bender

B’nai B’rith International commends the Dutch government for joining other nations in rejecting a Palestinian plan to achieve a unilaterally declared statehood at the United Nations. In a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on June 30, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the Netherlands would not support a push for statehood recognition at the General Assembly in September.

The Netherlands calls for direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and rejected the United Nations as a venue for promoting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state-a view B’nai B’rith has long supported.

B’nai B’rith also praises the Dutch government for its plans to implement restrictions on Dutch humanitarian programs that fund anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions programs (BDS) and that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state. This move from the Dutch foreign ministry would prevent non profit organizations from using taxpayer money to fund anti-Zionist and anti-Israel initiatives.

Additionally, the Netherlands will enter into a partnership with Israel, the Dutch-Israeli Cooperation Council, by January 2012, to strengthen political ties and increase economic investment between the two countries.

More after the jump.
These positive developments come on the heels of a government assault on religious freedom when the lower house of the Dutch Parliament voted to ban ritual slaughter of animals, which would prohibit Dutch Jews and Muslims from adhering to their religious dietary laws.  B’nai B’rith urges the upper house to reject the ban when it votes on the measure in September.

B’nai B’rith International, the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, is the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights, and advocacy organization.  For 167 years, BBI has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity, and tolerance.  Visit www.bnaibrith.org.

UN Commemorates Racist Durban Racism Conference

— Sharon Bender

B’nai B’rith International condemns the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. That event, in Durban, South Africa, was a forum overshadowed by rabid anti-Israel sentiment and deserves to be remembered as embodying the worst aspects of the United Nations.

The vote results included 104 nations in favor of the resolution, 22 against, and 33 abstentions.

B’nai B’rith International commends those nations voting against the commemoration: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Particularly disappointing was the near unanimous bloc of Latin American nations voting in favor of the resolution.

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The proposal to celebrate the original Durban conference has been championed by Arab and other largely non-democratic states, many with records characterized by mistreatment of minorities that have used their collective numbers to push through many anti-Israel resolutions at the world body. Though it is now only in its early planning stages, the Durban commemoration has been scheduled for a time when world leaders are expected in New York in September 2011, and just after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

“It is tragic that more nations don’t publicly recognize and condemn Durban as the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish free-for-all it truly was,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “Our delegates joined other non-governmental organizations in walking out of the conference in 2000 and again during Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel diatribe during the 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva. The prospects for anything positive to take place at a 10-year commemoration are no better.”

The 2001 World Conference Against Racism, with its Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), implied that Israel alone is a racist nation. Even worse than the U.N. proceedings were the NGO forum and street scenes that saw horrific expressions of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

“The original Durban conference attempted to validate the perverse theory that Zionism is racism,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Durban’s legacy of hate, intolerance, and double standards should never be forgotten, and should certainly never be celebrated.”

Following the proposal to commemorate Durban, Canada was the first country to unequivocally state it would not attend such an event. B’nai B’rith is calling on all countries not to participate in “Durban III.”