(JTA) — A racist statement against Israel in the United Nations by a Syrian government official should be condemned, a Jewish group said.
B’nai B’rith International condemned the statement made June 8 by Syrian First Secretary Rania Al Rifaiy, and called on the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council to speak out against such anti-Semitic language.
Israel "is a state that is built on hatred, discrimination, oppression and a paranoid feeling of superiority," Al Rifaiy said during debate in the U.N. Human Rights Council following Israel’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead. "Hatred is widespread, taught to even small children, who are taught to use weapons, and who are taught to sign missiles that will be fired at Arabs.
"Let me quote a song that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school. And I quote" ‘With my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood.’
The United Nations Mission to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva condemned the comments and called on leaders of the council to do the same.
B’nai B’rith President Dennis Glick said that “Unfortunately, we hear rhetoric like this repeatedly with few-to-no consequences that follow. Words of this kind inflict hate and incite violence, and that simply cannot be tolerated.”
In a letter addressed to U.N. Human Rights Council President Alex Van Meeuwen, Glick and B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote, “Hate-speech must be confronted at the council, especially when the perpetrator is a Member State of the United Nations, sworn to uphold the U.N. Charter.”