On Thursday, all 100 United States Senators sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres demanding an end to anti-Israel bias at the international body.
Given today’s hyper partisan politics, it is nearly impossible for lawmakers to agree on anything. Yet, every member of the U.S. Senate signed on to the strongly worded letter co-authored by Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE), arguing that the U.N. has become a vehicle for exploiting Israel and reinforcing anti-Semitism.
In the letter, the Senators explained: “The United States co-founded the United Nations with the intention of saving future generations from war and reaffirming fundamental human rights. While much good is being done and has been done by the body, many of its member states and agencies are using the U.N.’s privileged platform to advance an anti-Israel agenda.”
Prefacing concrete actions steps they note, “Although as Republicans and Democrats, we disagree on many issues, we are united in our desire to see the United Nations improve its treatment of Israel and to eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms. Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing.”
The Senators specifically mentioned three standing committees that they argued must be eliminated or reformed. They are the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UNHRC was highlighted for the fact that although it is “charged with shining a light on gross human rights violations,” its membership currently includes “some of the world’s worst human rights violators” who spend their time and energy condemning Israel. The Senators were blunt: “The UNHRC should be the premier international body addressing the many pressing human rights challenges of our time… it is currently not living up to this mission.”
The letter also noted that as the “principal founding member” and “its largest contributor,” the United States “should insist on reform.” The letter follows recent comments made by United States Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, who has made changing the anti-Israel culture at the U.N. a top priority of the Trump administration. Haley will visit Israel in June to mark the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day, the day Israelis celebrate the unification of Jerusalem following the Six Day War in 1967. President Trump is also scheduled to travel to Israel later this summer.