Nadler Speaks Out Against Anti-Semitism at the U.N.

Jun 8, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) yesterday rose on the House floor to support a resolution condemning institutional anti-Semitism by United Nations member states and urging remedial action by U.N. officials.  The bipartisan resolution passed the House on a vote of 409-2.  Congressman Nadler’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.Res. 282, which calls on the President to take steps to stem the ugly tide of anti-Semitism at the United Nations and in the Middle East.

The hijacking of the United Nations by some member states is an attack against international peace and the founding principles of the U.N.  The use of blood libels by representatives of member states, in reports, and by NGOs, is unacceptable and a betrayal of the U.N.’s mission.

The U.N. is robbed of its moral authority when member states hijack it for illicit purposes.  Slandering an entire people, their aspirations for self-determination, and their homeland, is unacceptable.  Excluding a member state from the community of nations because of ancient hatreds and slanders is unworthy of an organization founded to promote world peace and end human suffering.

Holding one nation to a standard no other nation is held to is, whether people wish to admit it or not, bigotry at its worst.  No other nation would be denounced for taking steps to protect its citizens from acts of terror aimed intentionally at civilians.  No nation has exercised as much restraint as Israel, yet no nation has been subjected to condemnation, indeed vilification and demonization, including those countries that practice slavery, torture, and genocide, some of whom have been privileged to sit on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights – a right denied to Israel in the more than half-century it has been a member.

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations is only as strong and decent as its member nations.  That is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.  When the nations of the world stand by, or worse, participate in, the vilification of the Jewish people, it is a reflection not just on the institution, but on the failings of its members.

I believe it is time for the President to do more to press the U.N., and its member states, to bring an end to institutionalized anti-Semitism.  It is not enough to criticize the U.N.  It is not enough to denounce anti-Semitism.

This administration must exert pressure on those countries that have gotten a pass on their efforts both in the U.N. and in other forums.  Countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who distort the mission of the U.N., must be held to account for their actions.

The United Nations is capable of good and important work, in the eradication of disease, in alleviating poverty.  It can and should do more, but it can never live up to its potential and its mission unless it sheds the stain of anti-Semitism.

The United States must take the lead in this important effort.  I support this resolution. I hope that the President heeds its message and does what he must do to end the bitter reign of anti-Semitism at the U.N.”