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Amuta for NGO Responsibility: Item 9 General Debate - Oral Statement

Summary

Thank you Mr. President.

In May 2017, the European Parliament adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of antisemitism.  The definition provides examples of contemporary antisemitism including claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; applying double standards to Israel not expected or demanded of any other nation; and using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterize Israel or Israelis.

In December 2017, the European Commission adopted an Implementing Decision for its Annual Programme of Action for Palestine, emphasizing that “particular attention will be paid to prevent that EU-supported civil society organisations are also engaged in activities inciting to hatred and/or violence” and conditioning eligibility for NGO funding on strict compliance with EU guidelines on racism.

We commend the EU for taking this important step.  The Implementing Decision marks a significant change in EU-NGO funding policies. Previously, this funding was provided all too often to groups that promote antisemitism and incitement to violence under the justification that the EU only funds projects and not organizations.

It is time that the UN adopt similar guidelines. Too many UN-funded events, organizations, and reports, such as what we heard presented to the Council yesterday, include antisemitism and or incitement to hatred and violence.  The 2001 UN Durban Conference was one of the worst examples of UN-promoted antisemitism.  The Division of Palestinian Rights is another serial offender.

Mr. President,

It is time for the UN to shed its image as a bastion of anti-Jewish hatred. Secretary General Guterres has taken important steps in this direction.  UN adoption of the IHRA antisemitism definition and funding guidelines mirroring those of the EU would mark profound positive change.

Thank you.