Speech by Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Centre's Director for International Relations, to the rally.
21 March, Friends - supporters of Israel, both Jewish and Gentile. I see among you many Christian friends and members of our Centre.
I spent much of the year 2000-2001 at the then Human Rights Committee, now renamed “Council,” here in Geneva.
As the only Jew elected to the International Steering Committee (ISC) of the Durban UN Conference against Racism – born and bred in the building in front of you – I attended many Preparatory Committees and helped on drafting resolutions.
In a session on Holocaust denial, the PLO representative crept up behind my chair, whispering in my ear: “If you give us Palestine, we will give you the Holocaust.” A Dutch friend snapped for posterity my outraged face.
On arrival in Durban, I was physically ejected from the ISC, where I had been given the title “The World Jew,” intended to debase my status as the elected Chairman of the Durban Jewish Caucus.
Durban ended on 8 September, 72 hours before 9/11.
On 6 December, I was somehow invited to Geneva for the last meeting of the ISC. On arrival, I was told I was not welcome, but in the presence of the High Commissioner, I could not be removed.
On each seat lay a blue paper: an 8 point post-Durban plan modeled on the Sullivan programme against Apartheid South Africa:
1. An educational inculcation campaign through all UN agencies against “apartheid Israel”
2. A legal campaign through the World Court on Israel's “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”
3. Cancellation of the Law of Return for Jews
4. Its replacement by the right of return for 1948 Palestinians (a session on this campaign is taking place here this afternoon)
5. A reestablished and enhanced economic boycott
6. Cultural, scientific, sports and academic embargoes (today known as “BDS”)
7. The rupture of diplomatic relations, rendering Israel a pariah state
8. Penalties for states and NGO's that refuse to comply.
Attached was an appendix listing proposed financial sponsors.
Paternity of the document was than roundly denied by the ISC as it was snatched from my hands.
This however, has been the exponentially expanding roadmap of our enemies for the past 15 years.
Only points 7 and 8: “rupture of relations” and “penalties for refusal” remain to be invoked.
On 1 March, just over two weeks ago, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki – at this very session of the Human Rights Council – called on the international community to bar entry to all Israeli passport-holders residing in the territories.
Just as the European Union's labeling boycott of products from the territories is a step along on the slippery path to a full boycott, so the Palestinian Minister is proposing a nightmare Jewish scenario, redolent of the 1930's, wherein Israeli citizens' passports are delegitimized as they are detained at borders and airports, until able to prove that they live within a green line of little interest to immigration officials.
Though unlikely to be adopted by most states, the very endorsement of such a concept by the Human Rights Council – without a whisper of indignation – sets a precedent for hostile states and NGO's.
Out of Geneva shall fly the concept to Porto Alegre, Brazil's annual NGO World Social Forum, bent exclusively on harming Israel and its supporters - a gathering where the Wiesenthal Centre is still the only Zionist Jewish organization to attend – and then on to its satellites here in the European Social Forum – where international BDS is coordinated – and onwards to be regurgitated throughout the UN system.
As we approach the Passover, we should recall that the Lord took us out of Egypt “Beyad Chazaka,” a “clenched fist” and “Zroah Netuya,” an “outstretched arm.” In diplomatic parlance: “a carrot and a stick.”
To contain the antisemitism of the UN Human “Wrongs” Council facing us here, we need both:
- to use the arsenal of fundamental rights to broaden our support
- and to remind the world of the, as yet, uninvoked point 8 of the post-Durban programme “Penalties against the States and NGO's that refuse to comply.”
This may just be too painful as blackmail never ends with the first bite. Thank you.