House passes resolution reaffirming Israel’s right to exist
Smith debates on House Floor in support of ‘timely, extremely important and ever-necessary resolution’
The following are excerpts of remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester), Co-Chair of the Israel Allies Caucus and senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during today’s debate on the House Floor in support of H.Res. 888—Reaffirming the State of Israel’s right to exist:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 888, reaffirming the State of Israel’s right to exist. I thank my good friend from New York, Mike Lawler, for introducing this timely, extremely important, and ever-necessary resolution.
Israel is the only state in the world whose fundamental right to exist, within any borders at all, is openly denied by other states. Some of them including Iran even call for Israel’s complete destruction and support transnational terrorist organizations to work toward its destruction.
It is also the only state in the world whose fundamental right to exist is constantly undermined and challenged by intergovernmental organizations—such as, most shamefully of all, the United Nations.
The antisemitism motivating those who deny Israel’s right to exist is apparent, but it is important to connect, as this resolution does, the denial of Israel’s right to exist to antisemitism and to connect them both, as enabling causes, to the monstrous crimes Hamas has unleashed on Israel.
Make no mistake, antisemitic bigotry is at the root of the UN’s hostility toward Israel, which is ugly, evil, and manifests itself in almost every UN entity.
On November 8, I chaired a hearing of my subcommittee on ‘United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel.’ We heard expert testimony from Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of UN Watch, and Jonathan Schanzer, the Senior Vice President for Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Hillel Neuer testified: ‘Teachers and schools at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs education and social services for Palestinians, regularly call to murder Jews, and create teaching materials that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism.’
He said further: ‘In 2022 alone, UNRWA received $344 million in U.S. funding. Yet a March 2023 report by UN Watch and Impact-SE identified 133 UNRWA educators and staff who were found to promote hate and violence on social media, and an additional 82 teachers and other staff affiliated with 30 UNRWA schools who were involved in drafting and distributing hateful content to students.’
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Jonathan Schanzer testified that: ‘The UN doesn’t recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization. Nor does it recognize Hezbollah either. That means UN resources can be and regularly are provided to members of those terrorist groups.’
According to the great human rights defender Natan Sharansky’s famous ‘3-D’ test for antisemitism, which he articulated at a hearing I chaired back in 2004, criticism of Israel is nothing less than antisemitic when it passes over into the demonization of Jews and Israel, delegitimizes the Jewish state, or applies double standards, that is one standard for Israel, another for every other country.
That is what many UN entities and agencies do every day.
Yesterday the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported on the latest example of the double standard: ‘Nearly 50 days after Hamas’ attack on Israel left 1,200 dead, and after weeks of criticism over its silence about allegations of sexual violence during the attack, the women’s rights group UN Women issued a statement condemning the terror group on Friday.
‘Then it deleted the post.
‘We condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on October 7 and continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages,’ read the initial statement, posted on UN Women’s Instagram page. It was soon replaced with a statement that dropped the condemnation of Hamas and only called for the release of the hostages.
In 2022, the UN General Assembly targeted Israel in a total of 15 harshly critical resolutions—compared to 13 country-specific resolutions on the rest of the world combined.
It is in large measure because of the UN—which is unquestionably the world’s foremost legitimizer of antisemitism—that it remains necessary, 75 years after the founding of the State of Israel, to reaffirm its right to exist.”