Reform group keeps U.N. accreditation


The World Union for Progressive Judaism survived an Arab-backed effort to have its U.N. accreditation stripped.

Under an agreement reached June 6, the union will retain its status as a U.N.-recognized nongovernmental organization despite an attempt to have its accreditation removed over a supposed insult against the United Nations Human Rights Council by one of its representatives .

The representative, David Littman, at a council meeting in January in Geneva brought up the Hamas charter and its pledge to destroy Israel in the context of a discussion of Israel’s counterterrorism operations.

Littman was interrupted three times by the council president, and closed his remarks by paraphrasing Shakespeare: “There is a general malaise in the air, a feeling that something is rotten in the state of this council.”

Some states deemed the remark as an insult to the council. Cuba, backed by several Muslim states, sought to have the union booted.

“It is gratifying that the U.N. Committee on NGOs decided not to pursue the complaint,” said Rabbi Uri Regev, the union’s president. “The World Union has been active as an NGO for almost 40 years, pursuing the core values it shares with the U.N. of human equality, peace and social justice.”

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