Rioters in Paris, July 20, 2014.
GENEVA, July 21, 2014 – Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch today called on UN leaders to condemn what it called a “global epidemic” of anti-Semitic attacks, spiraling from Paris to Ankara, in wake of the Israeli army’s Gaza operation to stop rocket fire against its cities.
In Paris, Jewish-owned shops were burned and pillaged last night during a second violent anti-Israel demonstration in two days. Riot police held back a mob of youths who tried to attacks two synagogues in the suburb of Sarcelles.
“When you menace synagogues and when you burn a grocery because it is Jewish-owned, you are committing anti-Semitic acts,” said French interior minister Bernard Cazeneve today.
UN Watch called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay to speak out, citing attacks in several cities, including in Antwerp, Berlin, Boston, Casablanca, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, and New York. (See list of incidents below.)
“Given the global nature of the contagion, it’s vital that we hear the voice of the UN’s leadership and of its human rights officials, including Ms. Pillay and all of the relevant human rights special procedures and treaty bodies,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group.
UN Watch called on Ban and Pillay to echo the words of the OSCE’s 2004 Berlin Declaration against anti-Semitism, which affirmed that “international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism.”
“Just as the UN has rapidly condemned anti-Islamic films, it must also rapidly condemn physical assaults and threats against Jews, and vandalism of their businesses, homes, and places of worship,” said Neuer.
“For now, regrettably, we’re hearing silence from the UN.”