Comments by David G. Littman, NGO Representative to the United Nations (Geneva) for the Association for World Education (AWE) and World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ):
A Human Rights Day Appeal (December 10) from AWE and WUPJ was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nevanethem Pillay and the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, requesting that the United Nations finally condemn the ever-growing Defamation of Judaism and rampant Judeophobia / Antisemitism in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. The covering letter sent to UNESCO’s newly-elected Director-General is also provided below, not the handwritten letters to the Sec-Gen. and HCHR, who received it and the documentation by fax (“Judeophobia /Antisemitism: Huge number of hate publications in Damascus” – an oral statement to the Council’s Ad Hoc Committee second session on the ‘Elaboration of Complementary Standards’ – to the Universal Declaration….)
Full copies were emailed to Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Frank LaRue, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism Githu Muigai and Acting-Secretary of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Torsten Schackel. The Appeal to all the above-mentioned persons is copied at the end here.
We have been denouncing this ongoing situation at the UN for nearly 25 years to no avail – and since 1971, first under a joint pen-name: [David Littman and Yehoshafat Harkabi] D.F. Green, Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel (English, French, German).
Either the UN senior authorities, Rapporters and institutions will finally act on this grave matter, reminiscent of the 1930s or not, rather concentrating all attention on what is now called ‘Islamophobia’ – and ignoring both Judeophobia and Christianophobia in the Arab-Muslim world because of pressures from the dominant 57 country OIC bloc. Such a silence would clarify for many of us the situation at the UN, especially the controversial Human Rights Council in Geneva – the ‘international community’. Dhimmitude would prevail beyond any doubt, recalling Shakespeare’s closing words in Macbeth’s mouth:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
The Director-General of UNESCO
Ms. Irina Bokova
We heartily congratulate you on your election. We sincerely hope that our ‘Appeal’ will be of some interest to you and that we shall receive a reply when convenient. Our detailed response (and request) of 8 April 2009 sent to UNESCO Assistant Director-General Ahmed Sayyed has, unfortunately, remained unanswered. We feel that the questions we raised on the 2 ISESCO books (re: UNESCO) merit a precise reply.
David G. Littman
Representative of AWE & WUPJ / United Nations – Geneva. Case Postale 205 . 1196 Gland. Suisse
P.S. I have added the English translation of our French oral statement (to the Ad Hoc Committee HRC on 27 Oct. 2009)
Association for World Education
World Union for Progressive Judaism
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; UNHCHR Nevanethem Pillay
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova
10 December 2009 Human Rights Day APPEAL
To Condemn Defamation of Judaism / Judeophobia / Antisemitism in the Middle East
On 12 January 2009 we sent you a Public Complaint (and to UN-Geneva Director-General Sergei Ordzhonikidze and the then UNHRC President Martin I. Uhomoibhi) concerning two hate books, published and circulated by ISESCO – Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They contain venomous attacks against Jews, a general defamation of Judaism – and a symbolic reference to an infamous forgery used by the Nazis. Both books were displayed at an OIC event at the Palais des Nations ‘on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR’ (19 December 2008).
To support these grave accusations, we provided substantive documentation: An explanatory page regarding the event and background data and six pages of extracts from the two ISESCO books.
[AWE /WUPJ: Defamation of Judaism & Jews by ISESCO (OIC): 60th UDHR Anniversary at the UN (A/HRC//10/29]
The only reply received came from Mr. Ahmed Sayyad, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Cooperation in which he referred us to UNESCO’s Constitution, stressing that: “the promotion of dialogue as a means of building peace is at the core of UNESCO’s mission.” He mentioned other UNESCO decisions, in particular Decision 174 EX/46, adopted in April 2006.
However, he provided no reply on the two books containing much religious and racial hatred against Jews and Judaism, although ISESCO – the cultural wing of the OIC and its 57 UN Member States – has very close ties with UNESCO. A higher standard is to be expected from an international body.
On 30 January 2009 another ‘Appeal’ was sent in which we providing reliable evidence from an Egyptian TV Channel al-Rahma (Mercy) – allegedly owned by Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Hassan – which had aired a show on 27 January 2009, featuring Egyptian cleric Amin Al-Ansari commenting on the footage of prisoners being tortured in Dachau, Mauthausen and Belsen, while he declared: “This is what we hope will happen but, Allah willing, at the hand of the Muslims.”
On 14 August 2009, we referred to more Egyptian TV testimony of a culture of hate, including the teaching of young children that “Jews are offspring of snakes and vipers”. On 12 October 2009, three days before the 12th HRC Special Session on Gaza and the Goldstone Report, Egyptian cleric Amin Al-Ansari again appeared on Al-Rahma TV, declaring that the Prophet Muhammad had announced that: “‘Judgment Day will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.'” The Muslims will kill the Jews. Be patient. All the trees and all the stones will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” This ‘saying’ or hadith is article 7 of the genocidal Charter of Hamas, yet it was not even referred to in the Goldstone Gaza Report.
Harsh anti-Zionist, Judeophobic /Antisemitic themes constantly appear in the Syrian media – the latest on Radio Damascus (1 December 2009 at 19:07), once again employing the heinous forgery:
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, stating that: “The Protocols allow for the killing of non-Jewish children…” We provided several other examples in an oral statement to the 2nd session of the Ad Hoc Committee of the HRC (27 October 2009), a French copy of which is attached to this Appeal.
Today’s Human Rights Day message by the newly-elected Director-General of UNESCO affirms: “Cultural or any other specificity must be aligned with respect for fundamental freedoms.” We ask your Excellencies, individually and collectively, to condemn this culture of hate – of Judeophobia / Antisemitism / Defamation of Judaism – in children and adult books and in all Middle East media. We hope the Special Rapporteurs & UN State Members will start to act on this grave matter in 2010.
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David G. Littman: Representative for the AWE & WUPJ to the UNO-Geneva (email@example.com)
RenÃ© L. Wadlow: Main Representative for the AWE to the UNO-Geneva (firstname.lastname@example.org)