WJC urges UNHRC to condemn all hate speech, including threats by Iran against Israel

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WJC urges UNHRC to condemn all hate speech, including threats by Iran against Israel

GENEVA - The World Jewish Congress has publicly called on members and observer states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn all forms of hate speech on social media and in all other arenas, including such antisemitic expressions propagated by world leaders. The statement, delivered by WJC International Relations Officer Sacha Elkaim, was one of six presented by the WJC to the Council over the course of an urgent debate by the HRC on 17 and 18 June.

In its plea for global condemnation of hate speech, the WJC noted with particular distress the renewed verbal aggression unleashed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s against Israel. Khamanei recently posted a threatening diatribe on Twitter referring to Israel as a cancerous tumor, comparing the Jewish state to the COVID-19 virus, and pledging to annihilate Israeli cities. In addition, the Iranian leader published a poster on his website evoking “the final solution,” a direct reference to the extermination of Jews by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Even after his remarks were condemned by world leaders, Khamenei reiterated his public calls for the elimination of Israel. 

The WJC underscored in its statement the concern that by “availing himself of such vile rhetoric and inciting to violence, the Supreme Leader of Iran threatens the security of Jews not only in Israel, but worldwide, as his comments are clearly antisemitic. The WJC calls upon the Human Rights Council to condemn such hateful discourse, which violates the founding principles of the UN and its charter and the fundamental tenets of humanity.” 

Full Statement to the UNHRC

Thank you, Madam President, 

The World Jewish Congress is very concerned with the rise of all forms of hate speech. It is particularly worrisome when a world leader uses social media to promote hate targeting a specific community. 

Recently, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, made, once again, abhorrent comments on Twitter. He referred to Israel, the Jewish state, as a “cancerous tumor”, and threatened to annihilate Tel Aviv and Haifa. He stated his conviction that the Zionist regime would “perish in the not-so-far future.“ Moreover, he compared Israel to the deadly Coronavirus and continued to dehumanize Jews, reminding us of incendiary statements made during the 1930s & 40s.

In addition, he posted on his website a poster evoking “the final solution,” a direct reference to the extermination of the Jews during World War II. After he was condemned for his tweet, he again publicly called for the elimination of a fellow UN member state. For Ali Khamenei, the solution to a long and complicated conflict would thus appear to be yet another genocide against the Jewish people.

By availing himself of such vile rhetoric and inciting to violence, the Supreme Leader of Iran threatens the security of Jews not only in Israel, but worldwide, as his comments are clearly antisemitic. 

The WJC calls upon the Human Rights Council to condemn such hateful discourse, which violates the founding principles of the UN and its charter and the fundamental tenets of humanity. 

Thank you. 

Watch: Other statements delivered by WJC representatives at the 43rd session of the UNHRC in Geneva, June 2020

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, WJC urged the Council to reform public institutions that discriminate.

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, WJC called for the body to make antisemitism a human rights issue.  

At the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) WJC spoke about the UNHRC’s bias against Israel.

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, WJC discussed the proliferation of hate speech, antisemitism, and xenophobia amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, WJC urged the body to undertake decisive action to reform public institutions that discriminate.

Watch: Statements delivered by WJC representatives at the 43rd session of the UNHRC in Geneva, February-March 2020

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on freedom of religion

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on hate speech

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on the threat of Iranian terrorism

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on Iran's human rights abuses

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on Iraq

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on Persecution of Rohingya Muslim minority

World Jewish Congress Statement to UNHRC on discrimination against individuals with albinism

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