Another UN Report

Posted on Mar 20, 2017

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury

by Samia Khoury of East Jerusalem

Once again Israel acts with rage because it cannot cope with the Truth. It is very unfortunate that, the UN has not only failed for the last seventy years to bring justice to the Palestinians, it has also lost its credibility for reacting outrageously against any statements or reports that expose the truth about Israel. The recent report of ESCWA describing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid led to the resignation of Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian UN diplomat and executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia when she was pressured by the UN General Secretary to withdraw the report. Click here for her letter of resignation. I wish more diplomats had this kind of integrity.

Actually I wonder whether the General Secretary even bothered to read the report. It looks like he was pressured as usual and unwilling to stand up for the principles of the UN body lest he face the Israeli music and the usual accusations of anti-Semitism. Almost a month ago the name of Salaam Fayad a former Palestinian Prime minister, came up for a special UN envoy to Libya, but the Secretary General was pressured to withdraw the name. Maybe the UN should consider changing its name, if its the US and Israel who actually call the shots.

Israel considers itself special and wants the whole world to treat it as special irrespective of what it does. Moreover when it claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East and its army is the most moral army, it has to be accountable. No other Arab country in the region has claimed that it is a democracy. We have heard courageous voices saying enough is enough, and they paid heavily for raising their voice. Yet sadly we have watched how the international community as well as church leaders continue to be intimidated and silenced for attempting to expose the truth. Until when does the international community have to deal with this spoiled child every time he puts up a tantrum? Even Israeli voices have said it loud and clear that the occupation is creating an apartheid system. What do you call a system that allows its authority to confiscate land, and bulldoze complete areas where Palestinians are living, so as to provide housing for Israeli settlements? And this is one phenomenon of the system. But the report was correctly documented with facts such as:

  • Israel’s Law of Return, “conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country,” as a policy of “demographic engineering” meant to uphold Israel’s status as the Jewish state.”
  • The report further accuses Israel of “practices” that have fragmented Palestinians, “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,”
  • “Israeli law normally allows spouses of Israeli citizens to relocate to Israel but uniquely prohibits this option in the case of Palestinians from the occupied territory or beyond.” Even Palestinians in East Jerusalem have to go through an endless ordeal to be able to have their spouses from the West Bank join them in Jerusalem. And very often the request is denied.

Actually the following paragraph in the preface of the report should be a wake up call to the United Nations to realize its responsibility to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to bring about a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

“The situation in Israel-Palestine constitutes an unmet obligation of the organized international community to resolve a conflict partially generated by its own actions. That obligation dates formally to 1922, when the League of Nations established the British Mandate for Palestine as a territory eminently ready for independence as an inclusive secular State, yet incorporated into the Mandate the core pledge of the Balfour Declaration to support the “Jewish people” in their efforts to establish in Palestine a “Jewish national home”.

Later United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions attempted to resolve the conflict generated by that arrangement, yet could not prevent related proposals, such as partition, from being overtaken by events on the ground. If this attention to the case of Israel by the United Nations appears exceptional, therefore, it is only because no comparable linkage exists between United Nations actions and any other prolonged denial to a people of their right of self-determination.”