Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013
Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013
Photo: AFP
Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013

UN taps Spanish ex-diplomat as its first anti-Semitism watchdog

Former foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos will reportedly work on streamlining system-wide response to anti-Semitism; nomination welcomed by Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, global coalition of activists, organizations fighting anti-Jewish bias

Ynet, i24NEWS |
Published: 07.30.20 , 12:56
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has tapped Miguel Angel Moratinos, a former Spanish diplomat, as the international body's first anti-Semitism watchdog.
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  • In his new role, Moratinos, who is currently a High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilization, will work on streamlining the system-wide response to anti-Semitism, the Jewish News Syndicate reported.
    Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013 Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013
    Former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos addresses the MENA Economic Forum in the UAE, February 2013
    (Photo: AFP)
    The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, a global coalition of activists and organizations fighting against the anti-Jewish bias, welcomed the nomination.
    "The importance of this role is reflected by the wealth of high-level experience and prominent leadership" showcased by the former diploma, CAM director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa said.
    Between 1996 and 2003, Moratinos worked as the European Union Special Representative for the Middle East. Later on, he served as Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2010.
    Before that, he was Spain's foreign policy architect for Africa and the Middle East from 1993 to 1996 and participated in the organizing of the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in 1992.
    Then-Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos meets with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman in Madrid in 2010 Then-Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos meets with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman in Madrid in 2010
    Then-Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos meets with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman in Madrid in 2010
    (Photo: AFP)
    While the UN played a major role in the establishment of Israel, critics say that some of its platforms have been corrupted with anti-Semitic sentiments.
    One of the most criticized bodies is the UN Human Rights Council, which frequently lambastes Israel over alleged human rights violations while failing to address the wrongdoings of more oppressive regimes.
    In February, the UNHRC released of a list of companies operating in West Bank settlements — a first-ever attempt to name and shame businesses that has drawn fierce criticism from Israel and the U.S.
    אינפו גרפיקה חברות מסחריות פועלות ב שטחים התנחלויותאינפו גרפיקה חברות מסחריות פועלות ב שטחים התנחלויות
    Some of the countries on the UNHRC 'settlement blacklist'
    Israel accused the international body of bias and surrendering to anti-Israel elements, and froze ties with its human rights chief.
    "The UN Human Rights Council is a biased and uninfluential body," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
    "Instead of dealing with human rights this body is trying to blacken Israel's name. We reject any such attempt in the strongest terms and with disgust."
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