UN Watch Calls on UN Rights Chief to Stop Distributing Anti-Semitic Statement During Debate on Goldstone Report
Geneva, March 24, 2010 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog organization, today called on the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to stop circulating an “anti-Semitic” text that accuses Israeli doctors of scheming to steal Palestinian organs. The statement by the Libyan-linked group EAFORD was posted by the UNHRC on its Agenda for debate on the Goldstone Report. The UN Watch protest letter follows below.
Amb. Alex Van Meeuwen, President of the Human Rights Council
Ms. Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations European Headquarters
March 24, 2010
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Madam High Commissioner,
As a human rights NGO dedicated to combating racism, UN Watch is alarmed to discover that the UN Human Rights Council, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has, however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic blood libel by publishing it as an official United Nations document (A/HRC/13/NGO/23), which is now being distributed to country delegates — under the same Agenda Item in which they will soon vote on the Goldstone Report.
We call upon you to immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the Human Rights Council; to gather up and destroy all existing copies; and to remove it from the Human Rights Council website.
The document in question is A/HRC/13/NGO/23, entitled “Israeli Illegal Trafficking in Organs of Dead and Kidnapped Palestinian Victims.” It was submitted by the “International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination,” also known as EAFORD. As shown on its website (http://www.eaford.org/), the raison d’etre of this UN-accredited organization is to accuse Israel of being a racist state. (The website also links to a video on U.S. action in Iraq, which it describes as a “Holocaust.”)
The statement begins by accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres,” creating the “largest open-air prison in the world,” perpetrating “economic genocide,” and having “let loose hordes of marauding gangs of Israeli illegal settlers” in order to “launch pogroms against Palestinians.”
It then proceeds to the principal charge: “Now it is the turn of the dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians. Their human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market. Israeli physicians, medical centers, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved, according to reports published in the Swedish press and criminal investigations in the United States.”
It goes on: “After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial.”
Finally, the statement concludes by calling on “physicians, medical centers and associations everywhere to condemn and boycott Israeli physicians and medical centers.”
Your Excellencies, the accusation that the Jewish state and its doctors are engaged in a racist campaign to steal Palestinian organs has no basis in fact or reality, and is nothing less than the repackaging of the medieval blood libel that was used over centuries to incite anti-Semitic hatred, violence and pogroms against Jews.
The United Nations cannot allow itself to aid or abet such blatant incitement to racism. Given that the Office of the High Commissioner carefully screens all submissions before deciding to publish them-indeed, our own submissions to this session were edited to remove certain words referring to regimes such as Iran and Libya-we are deeply disappointed that this hateful text was accepted for publication as an official UN document, and that it is now being distributed as such within the Human Rights Council chamber.
We urge you to take immediate action in accordance with the principles of human rights, equality and anti-racism upon which the United Nations was founded.
Hillel C. Neuer