New York, June 21st, 2022 – “The groundless accusations against Israel in the UN Human Rights Council´s (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry report which was presented in Geneva on 7th June misrepresent Israel’s standing in the broader international community”, Tomas Sandell and Gregory Lafitte of the European Coalition for Israel said on Tuesday, after having completed their first joint mission to the UN in New York after the pandemic. The statement was made just a few hours before the Israeli coalition government decided to dissolve the Knesset, leading to new elections in the coming months. Commenting on the new developments in Israel, Sandell and Lafitte added, “Israel’s standing remains strong irrespectively of who sits in the government.”
“Whereas antisemitism has had a new spike during the pandemic, so has Israel´s standing in the international community as the Jewish state continues to provide innovative solutions and security to the world”, they said. While in New York ECI met with several UN ambassadors who have recently visited Israel and seen with their own eyes the realities on the ground. One UN diplomat noted that “what we see in mainstream media is apparently not true.”
One and a half year after Forum for Cultural Diplomacy co-hosted a historic Hanukkah reception together with the Permanent Missions of Israel and Morocco to the UN, the close cooperation between Israel and the signatories of the Abraham Accords continues to flourish with new trade agreements, growing tourism as well as unprecedentedly warm people-to-people contacts.
Although these new realities are not immediately visible on the multilateral arena, they are starting to have an impact. While ECI visited the UN in New York, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen made her first visit to Israel, where she received an honorary doctorate at the Ben-Gurion University. In her speech she pointed out that “throughout centuries the Jewish people have been a light to the nations”, something which has also been discovered by many other world leaders. The visit came only one month after the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola travelled to Israel and spoke in the Knesset.
While in New York, Sandell and Lafitte met with the Permanent representative of the European Union to the UN, Ambassador Olof Skoog who later in the week led a UN conference on combating antisemitism.
Sandell and Lafitte stated, “The inquiry report is a product of a well-funded and well-oiled anti-Israel machinery inside and outside of the UN organization. It is now time to call out these attacks against the State of Israel for what they really are, Jew-hatred, and include them in the global fight against antisemitism.”