International Jewish group honours UN head for efforts to end anti-Israel bias
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

International Jewish group honours UN head for efforts to end anti-Israel bias

World Jewish Congress President recognised secretary-general Antonio Guterres for his attempts to shift the 'bizarre fixation on the Jewish state”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lay a wreath during a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem August 28, 2017. Photo by: JINIPIX
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lay a wreath during a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem August 28, 2017. Photo by: JINIPIX

Since taking over as secretary-general of the United Nations nearly four years ago, Antonio Guterres has taken action and spoken against the widely seen anti-Israel bias in the world body.

On Monday, the World Jewish Congress honoured Guterres for those efforts.

At a virtual gala, WJC President Ronald Lauder said Guterres will receive the Theodor Herzl Award this year for his work to change the “bizarre fixation on the Jewish state” at the U.N.

One of those moves came three months after Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general. In March 2017, Guterres ordered the withdrawal of a report from a website of the world body that accused Israel of apartheid in March 2017.

The same year, during a speech for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Guterres referenced the Jewish people’s historic ties to Jerusalem – an issue whose erasure or downplaying in U.N. documents and resolutions prompts criticism from Jews, Israelis and their allies.

In 2017, the Portuguese-born Guterres said that “a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist” and that Israel “needs to be treated as any other state, with the same rules.”

Lauder in a statement about the virtual award called Guterres a “true and devoted friend of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel.” Anti-Israel bias at the U.N. is not only dangerous to that country but has “demeaned” the organisation, he added.

Since 2006, the U.N. Human Rights Council has passed 160 resolutions condemning  individual countries, and 90 were against Israel, according to UN Watch. The U.N. General Assembly has passed 132 such resolutions, with 96 against Israel.

Guterres did not reference U.N. bias on Israel during his speech on receiving the WJC award, which he called a “high honour.”

He said that for him, “the fight against antisemitism is deeply personal,” and added, “One of the darkest chapters of Portugal’s history was the discrimination and persecution of the Jews during the Middle Ages.”

Zubin Mehta, the India-born former music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, received the WJC’s Teddy Kollek Award for the Advancement of Jewish Culture.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments