NEW YORK/GENEVA — World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder reacted on Thursday to the passage of two recent anti-Israel resolutions by the World Health Organization’s Assembly and United Nations Human Rights Council, labeling them as “shameless” and declaring that they sully the reputation of the United Nations and the bodies that operate under its auspices.
In a statement following the back-to-back votes in Geneva on Wednesday and Thursday, Lauder declared that, “Some UN member-states seem to believe that by exculpating Hamas and distorting the facts, they will gain cheap political points against Israel. The real losers, of course, are the Palestinians in Gaza, cynically held hostage by a terrorist organization that purports to speak in their name. Once again, truth has fallen victim to a shameless charade.”
He added that, “For the countries advancing this agenda, lying is obviously no sin—no matter the consequences, and even if the reputation of the UN is once again sullied. We’ve all been down this road before.”
Thursday’s vote in Geneva during a Special Session of the UN’s Human Rights Council centered on a one-sided resolution calling for the creation of a never-expiring Commission of Inquiry into the conflict and failed to mention Hamas even once throughout the document. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 24 yes, 9 no, with 14 abstentions. The Special Session is the ninth session targeting Israel—a disproportionately high number considering that the UNHRC has only held 30 such sessions since it was founded in 2006.
In a statement delivered on behalf of the World Jewish Congress prior to the adoption of the resolution, Dr. Amichai Magen, Senior Lecturer at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy in Israel and a Board Member of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, urged the Council to condemn Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “Any other position of this Council is unconscionable and will weaken the credibility of this body,” Magen stated.
Prior to the decision by the UNHRC, the World Health Assembly held a four-hour session on Wednesday to vote on a resolution centered on the health situation in the Palestinian Territories. The annual resolution, the only one focusing on a specific region in this technical body, was adopted by a vote of 83 yes, 14 no, with 39 abstentions. The WJC acknowledges all those countries which opposed at least one of these resolutions, namely Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, UK, Uruguay and USA.