From the Desk of Avi Abraham Benlolo, BA MA, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa)
Order of Vaughan, Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, Canadian Race Relations Award
His Excellency, Antonio Guterres
United Nations, S-233 New York, NY 10017
5 November 2020
Your Excellency, Secretary General Guterres:
You have been a strong advocate against Antisemitism. You have stood in front of the UN General Assembly to counter and combat this age-old hatred against the Jewish people. You have also advocated for more attention to this scourge within the United Nations and in the community.
For example, on January 21, 2020 – you Tweeted the following statement: “as we witness an upsurge in antisemitic attacks and hate speech, it is essential that we keep the memories of the Holocaust survivors alive for new generations”. In a speech in May of 2020, you drew attention to antisemitic conspiracy theories and other forms of hate and called on world leaders to stop this “tsunami of hate”.
Because you have stood up against the continued marginalization and hatred directed toward Jewish people, I was shocked to learn that yesterday, at the UN General Assembly, some 139 votes were adopted to rename the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, according to reports, has been renamed al-Haram al-Sharif by the UN.
As you are aware, the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was first completed in 957 BCE. The Mosque that is situated on top of the temple, is said to have been built in 692 CE – some 1600 years later! This attempt to re-write Jewish history and continue marginalizing the Jewish community is no less antisemitic than any other form of antisemitism. It is an attempt to deny us our existence – no less than the Nazis attempt to destroy our synagogues and burn our books.
Your excellency, given your previous statements against antisemitism, I call on you to immediately make a statement condemning this unjust resolution. Our world today, while very much still divided, is coming together. The Abraham Accords have shown that we can work together to foster co-existence and support diversity and pluralism.
This resolution, on top of at least six others which condemned Israel unfairly, are counter-productive when it comes to furthering human rights. I would be delighted to further advise you and your team about how together we can advance peace and democracy in the region, and avert this type of behaviour by UN member states. Please feel free to contact me anytime at the number provided.
Avi Benlolo, Canada
CC: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Official Opposition, Canada