A new report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) concludes that Israel has established an “apartheid regime.” The report is titled “Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid.”
According to The Associated Press:
Its authors conclude that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole.”
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon issued a statement condemning the report.
“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.
ESCWA released the report during a press conference Wednesday at its headquarters in Beirut.
“[Rima Khalif, ESCWA’s executive secretary] noted that Israel, encouraged by the international community’s disregard for its continual violations of international law, has succeeded over the past decades in imposing and maintaining an apartheid regime that works on two levels,” stated an ESCWA press release. “First, the political and geographic fragmentation of the Palestinian people which enfeebles their capacity for resistance and makes it almost impossible for them to change the reality on the ground. Secondly, the oppression of all Palestinians through an array of laws, policies and practices that ensure domination of them by a racial group and serve to maintain the regime.”
The report was co-written by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor and former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine, and Virginia Tilley, a political scientist who has done extensive research on ethnic conflict.
Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N., called the report “anti-Israel propaganda” in a statement released Wednesday.
“U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, when asked about the report, said it was published without any prior consultations with the U.N. Secretariat and its views do not reflect those of the secretary-general,” AP continued. “When asked who commissioned the report and who reviewed it, he said: ‘That’s a question to ask of ESCWA. It’s a report commissioned by ESCWA, and I would refer your questions to ESCWA.’ ”
In Wednesday’s press release, ESCWA upheld the conclusion of the report, going so far as to recommend support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
The press release stated: “[ESCWA] recommends the revival of the United Nations Centre against Apartheid and the Special Committee against Apartheid, the work of both of which came to an end by 1994, when the world believed that it had rid itself of apartheid with its demise in South Africa.”
—Posted by Emma Niles