‘Despicable lie & smear’: Israel fires back at UN’s ‘apartheid regime’ report

‘Despicable lie & smear’: Israel fires back at UN’s ‘apartheid regime’ report
Israel has denounced a new UN report which accuses Tel Aviv of crimes against humanity for running “apartheid policies” against the Palestinians. Israel’s UN envoy has called the document an attempt to “falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East.”

The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report published Wednesday accuses Israel “beyond a reasonable doubt” of being guilty of “policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid” against the Palestinian people.

The report says that Israel is guilty of pursuing a policy of “strategic fragmentation” of the Palestinians as the “principal method” by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.

The report “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” is available on:… http://fb.me/3uBuENIZX 

“This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance,” the Beirut-based commission report said.

: the key finding is that Israel has designed its apartheid regime around a strategic fragmentation of the… http://fb.me/6ff5F4nGj 

Israel, the report says, is trying to dominate over the 1.7 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel by offering them inferior services, limited budget allocations and restrictions on jobs and professional opportunities. Some 300,000 Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem suffer discrimination from inadequate access to education, health care, employment, in addition to residency and building rights.

“They also suffer from expulsions and home demolitions, which serve the Israeli policy of ‘demographic balance’ in favor of Jewish residents,” the report says.

Netanyahu policies may turn Israel into apartheid state – former Israeli PMhttp://on.rt.com/7fth 

Those 4.7 million Palestinians who live in West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip, the report claims, suffer the most, as they are governed by military law, while some 350,000 Jewish settlers are accountable to Israeli civil law.

“The territory is administered in a manner that fully meets the definition of apartheid under the Apartheid Convention: except for the provision on genocide, every illustrative ‘inhuman act’ listed in the Convention is routinely and systematically practiced by Israel in the West Bank,” the commission discovered.

: Israel has used shocking terms that we now find familiar such as “demographic threat”

Furthermore, millions of Palestinian refugees are “prohibited” from returning to their homes and are being deterred from doing so in a “frankly racist language.” According to the authors of the report, Israel justifies the policy by saying that Palestinians constitute a “demographic threat” and that their return would “alter the demographic character of Israel to the point of eliminating it as a Jewish State.”

The ESCWA report concludes that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, “which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity.”

3/3 The @UN as a whole must disassociate itself from these biased anti-Israel elements.

The Israeli UN ambassador Danny Danon immediately denounced the damning ESCWA report calling the findings a “despicable lie.”

The report is an “attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie,” Danon said.

2/3 @ESCWACIU is headed by an individual who calls to boycott Israel & compares us to the most terrible regimes of the 20th century

He accused the authors of the report of bias, and the envoy specifically singled out the ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

“It comes as no surprise that an organization headed by an individual who has called for boycotts against Israel, and compared our democracy to the most terrible regimes of the twentieth century, would publish such a report,” the ambassador noted, as reported by the Times of Israel.

1/3 The attempt to smear & falsely label Israel is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie

The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was quick to distance himself from ESCWA document. His spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said that “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was issued without consultations with the UN secretariat.

The United States also criticized the report calling its findings “biased” and labeling it as “anti-Israel propaganda.”

“The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world,” UN ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement late Wednesday.

Haley has also called on the UN to withdraw the report, as she went after one of the authors of the probe, Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus.

“That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising,” Haley said. “The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, compared ESCWA’s findings to Nazi propaganda.

“Friendly advice — don’t read it without anti-nausea pills,” he tweeted.

has issued today a ” Der Stürmer”like report, NOT endorsed by @UNSG . Friendly advice- dont read it without anti nausea pills….

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The innocent imprisoned. Movement restricted. Trade suffocated. Homes demolished. Human rights abuses are rife in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We do not take a position on issues of statehood.

We stand with those demanding that all sides respect human rights, and that perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to justice.

UN report: Israel has established an ‘apartheid regime’

Report breaks new ground on the UN’s examination of the situation in occupied Palestine by using the word ‘apartheid’.


Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.

A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.

The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating – or even has already created – a de facto “one-state”, which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid.

It urged governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives”.

The report – Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and launched in Beirut.

John Reynolds, a lecturer in law at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, told Al Jazeera the report “breaks new ground in the context of the UN’s analysis of the situation in Palestine”.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon issued a statement condemning the report late on Wednesday.

“The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie,” he said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, when asked about the report, said it was published without any prior consultations with the UN Secretariat and its views do not reflect those of the secretary-general.

READ MORE: Israel’s settlement law: Consolidating apartheid

The report was authored by two critics of Israeli state practice: Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, and Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

Noting how “the expert consensus [is] that the prohibition of apartheid is universally applicable and was not rendered moot by the collapse of apartheid in South Africa”, the report argues that Israel is “guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid”, a “crime against humanity under customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.

The report is a “detailed analysis of Israeli legislation, policies and practices” that highlights how Israel “operates an apartheid regime”, including through “demographic engineering”.

Palestinian citizens of Israel are described as “subjected to oppression on the basis of not being Jewish”, it said.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem similarly experience “discrimination in access to education, healthcare, employment, residency and building rights”, as well as “expulsions and home demolitions”.


Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are governed by “military law” alongside Jewish settlers “governed by Israeli civil law”, the report said.

Palestinian refugees and exiles are “prohibited from returning to their homes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory” on the basis that they “constitute a ‘demographic threat’ and that their return would alter the demographic character of Israel”.

As well as urging governments to back BDS, the report recommends that the UN and its member states should “revive the Special Committee against Apartheid, and the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid (1976-1991)”, which would then “report authoritatively on Israeli practices and policies relating to the crime of apartheid”.

The report also suggests an advisory opinion be sought from the International Court of Justice “as to whether the means used by Israel to maintain control over the Palestinian people amount to the crime of apartheid”.

David Keane, associate professor in law at Middlesex University, said the new report differs from previous ones on the subject because it “expressly attaches the apartheid label”.

OPINION: Israeli Labor Party adopts the apartheid mantra

The report could contribute to an already deteriorating relationship between the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the United Nations.

“For Palestinians and their allies, the report will help to provide a solid basis for their work,” Nadia Hijab, executive director of al-Shabaka – The Palestinian Policy Network – told Al Jazeera .

Citing the reputation and credibility of the authors, Hijab described the report as “a clear, concise document” whose recommendations are “timely and much needed”.

Explainer: Israel-Palestine conflict, the two-state solution

Source: Al Jazeera

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