Criticize Israel at your peril. It doesn’t matter what organisation you are in, nor how secure you think you may be, if you ever state the obvious – that Israel is an apartheid state, if you are lucky, you might be pensioned off. Grovelling apologies rarely work. You’ll definitely be removed and then, depending on how critical you have been, there may be further punishment. Rima Khalaf has unfortunately just found this out, even though I think she only signed off on the report, not written it herself. One of the writers involved is Richard Falk, a long term critic of Israel who has resisted many attempts to censure him.
Part of the report regarding ESCWA, published by Global Research:
‘The head of the United Nation’s West Asia commission resigned on Friday, after what she described as pressure from the secretary-general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday, saying it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge.
Click here to read the statement of Khalaf posted on ESCWA’s social media.
However two days later, Rima Khalaf, UN under-secretary-general and ESCWA executive secretary, announced her resignation at a news conference in Beirut.
“I stand by my assessment in the report, that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid,” she said at the conference.
“I find myself unable to accept the pressure placed on me over the last period of time.
“The secretary-general demanded yesterday that I withdraw the report, and I refused,” she said, adding: “I believe that discrimination on the basis of skin colour, religion or ethnicity is unacceptable.”
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday asked for the report to be removed from the UN website.’
Just like the Goldstone Report, this ESCWA statement merely points out the painful truth. Israel has Jew only roads, a different justice system, extreme restrictions placed on the Palestinians, purely because they aren’t Jewish. From the ESCWA report:
‘The roughly 4.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory (2.7 million in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip) are governed not by Israeli civil law, but by military law, codified as orders issued by the commander of the territories and administered by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and other designated arms of the occupying power.’
There is no reasonable justice system for the Palestinians.
Leading ANC figures have expressed the view that apartheid conditions for Palestinians are much worse than what was suffered in South Africa, during the most brutal years.
Claims that Israel is a democracy can quickly be put to rest by watching a contentious issue being debated in the Knesset. Arab politicians have to frequently suffer the most vile accusations and abuse, purely for supporting the people that voted for them. The Arab members have very little input into the decision making, although they do argue their case admirably. A particular mention must go to Haneen Zoabi, the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel’s parliament on an Arab party’s list. Despite all sorts of despicable threats, she will not be silenced.
Glenn Greenwald claims that the decision to pressurise Rima Khalaf into resigning is a Trump driven policy. I doubt any US leader in recent history would have behaved any differently.
During his election campaign, Trump used the slogan ‘America First’. It should have read ‘America First, after Israel’.
The last word is from the report itself and is perfectly clear.
‘The solution therefore lies in implementing international law, applying the principles of non-discrimination, upholding the right of peoples to self-determination and achieving justice.’
The UN have indeed removed the report from its website.