Archive for the 'Palestinians' Category

With EU Support, UN Casts Israel as Worst Violator of Economic and Social Rights

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.14.00 AMGENEVA, July 22 – The UN’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council singled out Israel as the only violator of economic and social rights in the world, by a resolution adopted on Monday by a majority of 42 states including all EU members.

Only Australia and the U.S. opposed, with abstentions by Honduras and Panama. Eight countries were absent.

ECOSOC condemned Israel

The text excoriates Israel for such crimes as “destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural lands and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan”; of the “exploitation of natural resources”; and of “the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources.”

The EU-backed resolution mentions Hamas 0 times.

Syria was mentioned 13 times — but only to condemn Israel for alleged violations against “the Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan” whose family members reside in “their mother homeland, the Syrian Arab Republic.” The murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad is not condemned or even mentioned once.

No other country is singled out for condemnation at this year’s ECOSOC’s annual session.

After the introduction of the resolution by South Africa, the Syrian Ambassador took the floor and accused Israel of facilitating terrorist attacks against Syrian cities and civilians. Assad’s envoy condemned the Jewish state for “destroying the soil of the Golan, exploiting its resources, burning its products and other racist policies.”

 

True story: Palestinian UN rep criticized states for criticizing Israel

An extraordinary event took place at the Human Rights Council on September 16, when the Palestinian representative took the floor to attack countries for attacking Israel.

The incident took place while the HRC was discussing human rights situations around the world, under Agenda Item 4.

What angered the Palestinians is that European and other Western countries — such as Denmark, Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan — decided to raise their criticisms of Israel under the normal agenda item for criticizing countries, rather than under Agenda Item 7, which is the council’s special agenda item targeting Israel, entitled  “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”

Israel is the only country singled out by a special agenda item. Not even Syria, Sudan or North Korea have their own agenda item. Under that biased framework, Israel is attacked by venomous accusations, and targeted under more than half of the HRC’s country resolutions. Even UN chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned the institution of this agenda item.

In the past year, the EU has refused to take the floor under Agenda Item 7, denying it legitimacy. Instead, they speak about Israel, when they feel the need, under Item 4. Gradually, Item 7 threatens to become a dead letter.

This triggered an angry response from the Palestinian representative who criticized these democracies — and also challenged Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terrorism. Of course, the Palestinians did not object to Iran criticizing Israel under item 4, or other authoritarian countries who are willing to do so at every opportunity.

Continue reading ‘True story: Palestinian UN rep criticized states for criticizing Israel’

Rare: UN High Commissioner details abuses of PA & Hamas against Palestinians

When it comes to UN reporting on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is usually the case that Israel is mostly criticized, with a brief reference in the end calling for Hamas to stop firing missiles and rockets against Israeli civilians. However, a recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, apart from listing Israel’s alleged violations, it dealt in great detail on the serious human rights violations of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against their own people, regular Palestinian civilians. Some of the main findings are provided below.

This report also reveals the great protection gap that exists in the UN system with regards to the rights of the Palestinian people, as the so-called Special Rapporteur on Palestine only looks at Israel’s actions and has no mandate to examine violations committed by the PA or Hamas.

One of the dubious parts of the report however was quoting former Special Rapporteur on violence against women Yakin Erturk, who, in 2005, bizarrely blamed Israelis for the  fact that Palestinians maltreat their wives. Scapegoating is an old sport and playing the blame game only finds excuses for abusers not to take action.

Continue reading ‘Rare: UN High Commissioner details abuses of PA & Hamas against Palestinians’




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