Americans for Peace Now Statement Delivered at the United Nations Security Council
By Lara Friedman / Americans for Peace Now
October 14, 2016
Distinguished members of the Security Council,
As a representative of Americans for Peace Now — an organization that is committed to Israel’s existence and its future — it is not easy for me to speak before this body today.
It is not easy because while this forum will focus in large part on human rights violations by Israel, there are states represented here whose own human rights records are abysmal. There are even states in this forum that still do not recognize the existence of Israel, 70 years after that nation’s birth and despite its membership in the UN’s General Assembly.
It is also not easy for me to speak here today because of the deteriorating political climate in Israel as far as democracy is concerned. For some time now we have been witnessing an ugly campaign against courageous Israeli human rights and civil society NGOs — carried out by reactionary groups in Israel and by the Israeli government itself. Campaigns that target the legitimacy of NGOs like our Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav — Peace Now.
These groups are being targeted because their work reveals facts that some prefer to hide — facts that challenge the official Israeli government narrative.
Yet, I am here today because this institution is too important to boycott or ignore. The Security Council is the most important international body in existence today.
It would be irresponsible to miss an opportunity to argue our cause in front of it. It would be unpardonable to allow ourselves to be silenced by the cynicism of some of this body’s member states, whose hatred of Israel may blind them to Israel’s legitimate needs and fears. And it would be inexcusable to allow ourselves to be silenced by the disapproval of some who today equate speaking unpleasant truths about Israeli policies with national betrayal.
I am here today because the cause that we work for every day is too important to allow anyone to silence us.