GENEVA, March 18, 2019 – Czech MP Jan Bartošek today addressed the Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations— see quotes below.

For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, photos, livestream and more, click here.

Quotes on the UNHRC inquiry:

  • I have come here to Geneva today on behalf of more than 50 Czech members of Parliament — friends of Israel — to express our great concern about the one-sided reports and resolutions targeted against Israel today.
  • Because we are facing a new wave of antisemitism, hidden behind the noble mask of human rights. Because we have to raise our voices and demand the right of Israel to be treated as any other nation. Because Israel is being portrayed as an outlaw by UN bodies, who abuse their power and deny their own principles.
  • State-fueled and organized terrorism should not be justified or defended on the basis of human rights. An investigation of human rights violations should be balanced, not one-sided. It should address both the Israeli and Palestinian sides on an equal footing.
  • The UN also must stop playing a shameful role in the dirty game called BDS, which in the end hurts both Israelis and Palestinians.
  • I have the mandate of at least a quarter of the Czech Parliament — that the Czech Republic, a real friend and ally of Israel, will not sit quietly and look to the ground when our friends are under fire by international institutions that are being abused.

Full prepared remarks:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. 

I have come here to Geneva today on behalf of more than 50 Czech members of Parliament — friends of Israel — to express our great concern about the one-sided reports and resolutions targeted against Israel today. 

We are a nation in the heart of Europe. Our first president, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, visited Jerusalem in 1927 as the first head of Western states, and met Jewish leaders to convey Czechoslovakia‘s support for the idea of a Jewish state. 

A quarter of a century later, his son — Czech State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jan Masaryk — orchestrated the massive supply of Czech guns and ammunition, including the transport of the first military aircraft to support the Jewish nation, in the days and hours of their utmost need. Ironically enough, this was done AGAINST U.N. resolutions which imposed an embargo against all military supplies to the State of Israel. 

Jan Masaryk embodied the words of his famous and respected father: “What are words for, if there is no action behind them?” 

Our first democratic president after forty years of communist darkness — Vaclav Havel — restored our diplomatic relationship with the State of Israel, as one of the first acts of his presidency. 

All of these great men of the Czech nation understood how important it is for any nation to have a safe and secure space in which to live. This is especially important for the small nation living in Israel, which is mistreated by so many countries around the world. 

And that is why I stand here now, ladies and gentlemen. 

Because we are facing a new wave of antisemitism, hidden behind the noble mask of human rights. Because we have to raise our voices and demand the right of Israel to be treated as any other nation. Because Israel is being portrayed as an outlaw by UN bodies, who abuse their power and deny their own principles. 

Terrible bias can be found in all seven reports which are being presented today at the United nations Human Rights Council. These reports do not consider properly the role of Hamas, and other terrorist militants, in perpetrating attacks and violations of international law along the Gaza border. 

State-fueled and organized terrorism should not be justified or defended on the basis of human rights. An investigation of human rights violations should be balanced, not one-sided. It should address both the Israeli and Palestinian sides on an equal footing.

Israeli soldiers who are fulfilling their legitimate duty to protect Israeli citizens against daily Palestinian terrorism cannot be called to account in the International Criminal Court. Young men and women of Israel who serve in the army to protect their people should not be afraid to travel around the world because of the risk of being arrested abroad. 

The UN also must stop playing a shameful role in the dirty game called BDS, which in the end hurts both Israelis and Palestinians. 

Ladies and gentleman, please be assured — and I have the mandate of at least a quarter of the Czech Parliament — that the Czech Republic, a real friend and ally of Israel, will not sit quietly and look to the ground when our friends are under fire by international institutions that are being abused. 

It is time for the UN to uphold the promise of its own Charter, and to respect equal rights for all nations — including Israel. Thank you. 

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