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Renowned Human-Rights Activist Urges Dissolution of UN Commission on Israel-Hamas Conflict

B’nai Brith Canada Counsel David Matas (Jewish Post and News)

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August 12, 2022

OTTAWA – David Matas, B’nai Brith Canada’s Senior Legal Counsel and a world-renowned human-rights activist, outlined to a recent international conference why the highly-biased United Nations (UN) Commission on the Israel-Hamas conflict must be disbanded.   

Matas highlighted the recent controversy over Commission panelist Miloon Kothari’s openly antisemitic remarks, accusing Jews of owning social media and suggesting Israel should not be part of the United Nations. Matas noted that the Chair of the Commission, Navi Pillay, immediately rose to Kothari’s defence, in line with her longstanding hostility towards Israel. Kothari subsequently issued an apology for his remarks. A previous analysis by Matas of the terms of reference of the Commission reveals an extreme bias against Israel, right from the start. 

CLICK HERE to read the Matas Report 

“The sole outcome of this UN Commission is to exacerbate tensions, promote further destabilization and protract hostilities,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “It goes without saying, Kothari needs to step down, but realistically, this biased Commission must also be immediately disbanded.”

Other highlights of Matas’ presentation to the conference delegates include: 

  • The objection to the existence of Israel was and is that Israel is Jewish, not Arab/ Muslim.  Hostility to Israel was and is anti-Jewish in nature;
  • Israel is singled out for one-sided criticism, that isn’t applied to other nations;
  • The Commission’s mandate, membership and remarks show pre-conceived notions and that their minds are already made up on last summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict

“We call on human rights-respecting states to walk out of presentation of reports to the UN Human Rights Council by this Commission, as well as the interactive dialogues which follow,” Matas said. “Rights-respecting states already do this in response to the anti-Israel Council agenda item,” said Matas. “At the very least, we ask the several states who have already condemned the remarks of Kothari to do this, if he does not resign from the Commission. 

The Cambridge event, Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity Revisited, was hosted by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). Matas participated representing B’nai Brith Canada. 

The aim of the ground-breaking conference was to explore the recent rise of antisemitism globally, by using an interdisciplinary approach to help advance understanding of the origins and manifestations of antisemitism.