Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister’s Office
80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
CC: Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne
CC: Ambassador to the United Nations Marc-André Blanchard
February 13, 2020
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
We write to you today with regard to the recent release of a blacklist of businesses with ties to Israel and Jewish communities by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This blacklist is blatantly discriminatory and antisemitic and it conjures up one of the darkest moments of our history, when Hitler promoted a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses as a precursor to his genocidal campaign. The OHCHR blacklist is in itself a shameful attack on the basic rights of Jewish citizens and the sovereignty of the Israeli state and must be rejected firmly and in its entirety by the international community.
Israel stands out as the only democracy in the entire Middle East and yet it remains the target of the majority of UN resolutions and is the only country subject to any kind of commercial blacklist by the UN. The majority of countries which voted to support the blacklist – such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Vietnam - are themselves dictatorships with questionable human rights records. The glaring hypocrisy inherent in the Human Rights Council’s ongoing campaign against Israel must be openly acknowledged and addressed in order to maintain the reputation and credibility of the UN as organization mandated to achieve cooperation and harmony among nations.
We ask that the Government of Canada speaks out, publically and in the strongest possible terms, against the OHCHR’s blacklist and that Canadian representatives meet with High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet directly and in due course to convey Canada’s steadfast rejection of any commercial blacklist that uniquely targets businesses with ties to Jewish communities and Israel.
Thank you, and I look forward to your response.
President and CEO
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies