A German diplomat threatened a non-profit group with sanctions for what he called anti-Semitic activity. At a May 28 meeting of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council’s Committee on Nongovernmental Organizations, the German delegate harshly criticized one organization that had denigrated Zionism as racism in the run-up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. If the Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America continued to engage in “anti-Semitic activities,” the German delegate said, he would insist that sanctions be imposed on the group, according to Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress.

It was believed to be the first time a U.N.-accredited NGO was rebuked for anti-Semitic or anti-Israel activity, Steinberg told JTA. “Hopefully, it’s a harbinger of a change within the social and political climate at the United Nations,” he said.