UNITED NATIONS (Jun. 19)
A four-member B’nai B’rith International delegation, headed by Gerald Kraft, the organization’s president, urged United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar today to use his influence to prevent outbursts of anti-Semitic statements and remarks at the UN.
After the meeting, which was held at the Secretary General’s office and lasted about 40 minutes, Kraft told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “We expressed our concern over the upsurge of anti-Jewish bigotry at the United Nations. We told the Secretary General that the General Assembly resolution of 1975 equating Zionism with racism in effect ligitimized anti-Jewish bigotry and that it is being institutionalized” at the United Nations.
Kraft said that in addition to seeking the help of de Cuellar in preventing anti-Semitic outbursts in the future, they asked the Secretary General to see to it that if such outbursts reoccur “more UN members states will challege them.”
According to Kraft, the Secretary General agreed that anti-Semitism at the UN “was shamefull and unacceptable.” De Cuellar said that the United Nations “cannot fight apartheid and engage in another type of discrimination,” Kraft said.
According to Kraft, de Cuellar told the B’nai B’rith delegation to inform him of any manifestation of anti-Semitism at the UN. “You can always count on my support,” he reportedly said.
MEETINGS WITH DEMOCRATIC ENVOYS
Kraft disclosed that since the beginning of the year, shortly after the Libyan Ambassador to the UN, Ali Treiki, made anti-Semitic slurs at the UN General Assembly, he has been meeting with various Ambassadors “from democratic countries” to encourage them to challenge anti-Semitic remarks at the UN. He said that some of the Ambassadors explained their lack of protest against the anti-Jewish slurs on “institutionalized procedures” at the UN which prevented them to respond on the spot.
“We told the Secretary General that these Ambassadors need his quiet encouragement to challenge the anti-Semitic outbursts,” Kraft said.
The three other members of the delegation were Philip Lax, chairman of the International Council of B’nai B’rith; Dr. William Korey, director of the International Policy Research of B’nai B’rith and Harris Schoenberg, director of UN Affairs of the organization.