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UN agency that issued ‘apartheid’ Israel report now alleges torture, killings

The UN agency that caused an uproar three months ago when it released a report accusing Israel of being an “apartheid regime” and of racially dominating the Palestinians has authored a new document slamming the Jewish state for allegedly torturing Palestinians and carrying out “extra-judicial executions.”

The new report, dated May 23, was submitted to the UN General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council for their respective upcoming sessions. The document appears to have been made available online as of Wednesday.

The report, drafted by the Beirut-based UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), claims Israeli security forces use disproportionate force against Palestinians and mistreat Palestinian detainees, including minors, and that Israel does not pursue justice for wrongdoing against Palestinians.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN called it a blood libel, and said he would seek to have it withdrawn, as happened with the Council’s previous report on Israel in March.

The report focused on the period from from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, and says that Israeli security forces killed 63 Palestinians, including 19 minors, and wounded an additional 2,276 Palestinians including 562 children. It notes that “at least 37 of the Palestinians killed were carrying out or suspected of carrying out attacks against Israelis.”

It also expresses concern over “the use of force and unlawful killings by Israeli security forces, including some cases which may have amounted to extrajudicial executions.”

Citing the UN Committee Against Torture, the report further accuses Israel of “torture or ill-treatment of Palestinian children,” of “deprivation of basic legal safeguards for administrative detainees, isolation and solitary confinement of detainees, including minors, punishment and ill-treatment of hunger strikers.”

It also alleged that “no criminal investigation was opened into more than 1,000 complaints of torture or ill-treatment filed since 2001.”

The agency also said Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a lasting and
comprehensive peace.”

In March, ESCWA penned a report titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” which sparked a backlash by Israel and the US, leading Washington to demand action by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who distanced himself from the report and ordered it withdrawn.

The document was removed from the agency’s website and the head of the body, Jordanian UN official Rima Khalaf, resigned shortly thereafter.

ESCWA, which lists the state of Palestine as a full member, works to strengthen cooperation and promote development.

On Thursday, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said he would work to have the newest report removed as well, calling it “yet another blood libel against the State of Israel.”

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley walks with Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon as they arrive for a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, June 7, 2017. Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“Just as we succeeded in having the previous preposterous report removed, we will fight relentlessly against this blatantly false distortion of the truth as well,” he said in a statement. “We will not accept any attempt to slander the brave soldiers of the IDF.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely speaks during a ceremony laying the corner stone of the Yovel neighborhood in which 50 homes will be built, in Kibbutz Kfar Etziob, on June 7, 2017. ( Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Thursday that “as long as the industry of untruthful reports continues at the UN, and elements with political interests prepare these papers under the guise of professional reports, the UN cannot be an honest player.”

“The IDF protects children while Hamas uses children as human shields,” she said in a press statement. “We are facing a cruel enemy that systematically violates human rights. Instead of writing reports on Hamas’ violations, ESCWA is striking at a country that operates according to moral values and protects human rights in the entire region.”

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Planned study by UN body behind ‘apartheid’ report will compare Israel to US slavery

WASHINGTON — The Lebanon-based United Nations agency that was recently forced to remove a report on its website accusing Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” will soon release another appraisal of alleged Israeli malfeasance, The Times of Israel has learned.

The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is currently planning to publish a report that will evaluate “the cost of the Israeli occupation” over the Palestinian territories, while looking at examples from apartheid in South Africa and slavery in the United States.

While the exact publication date is yet to be determined, it is slated to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the1967 Six Day War this June, marking a half-century since Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

ESCWA’s last report on Israel accused the Jewish state of a policy of apartheid against the Palestinians, the first time the term was used by the world body.

The publication was met with Israeli and American anger and it was quickly trashed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, with ESCWA head Rima Khalaf resigning in protest.

IDF check Palestinian cars at a checkpoint in the West Bank village of Yatta on February 10, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The new report, a joint project by ESCWA and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), will aim for the first time to put a dollar figure on 50 years of Israeli control of areas Palestinians claim for their own state.

The aim of the study will be to provide a framework for future reparations, which will be based on examples drawn from South Africa’s apartheid regime and slavery in the United States.

“ESCWA and UNCTAD have just begun to work together on a project to calculate the cost of the Israeli occupation,” Nabil Abu-Dargham, the head of ESCWA’s communication and information unit, told The Times of Israel.

“This research project is complex and will draw from a number of disciplines,” Abu-Dargham added. “It is way too early to be decisive on the duration of research and the outcome.”

During ESCWA’s 29th Ministerial Session December 2016, in Doha, Qatar, the body passed Resolution 326 (XXIX) mandating that agency work on a research project dealing with the topic.

Palestinian schoolchildren playing soccer around the security barrier in the West Bank (illustrative photo: Flash 90)

At the confab, the agency formulated what they called “an innovative methodology to accurately assess the direct and indirect cumulative costs of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

“This effort is unprecedented in terms of the depth and scope of the analysis,” said the document outlining its plans. “The methodology aims to accurately determine the multilayered cost of occupation across all sectors.”

The document outlining the research proposal has a section titled “Previous Experiences from Other Regions” — which mentions proposals for assessing the costs to the black population that suffered under South Africa’s Apartheid regime and proposals to grant reparations to African Americans in the United States based off that country’s history of slavery.

The outline for the study that delineates its “premises and approach for calculating the cumulative cost of the occupation” claims these comparisons are vital to the process.

“It is necessary to consider experiences from other regions to assess the damage resulting from the injustices that various peoples, social groups and countries have been exposed to,” it says.

‘These experiences can be useful in the context of measuring the cumulative and comprehensive cost of the Israeli occupation.’

“An initial assessment reveals that these experiences are directly linked to the issue of reparations, focusing on individual compensation,” the text goes on. “Despite the absence of such a methodology to calculate the cost of long-term practices, these experiences can be useful in the context of measuring the cumulative and comprehensive cost of the Israeli occupation.”

Citing an assessment from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it says “two types of such compensation were approved for Apartheid victims in South Africa: urgent interim reparations for victims and their families in dire need of medical, emotional, educational or financial assistance; and individual reparations paid annually for six years.”

Looking at attempts in the US to provide reparations for descendants of slaves, the study outline notes that “stakeholders have not identified an effective methodology, thus impeding the achievement of justice through reparations for victims of slavery.”

File: The 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

UNCTAD put out a report on estimating costs in September 2016 and other studies have also assessed the economic costs to Israel’s military presence in the West Bank, but this is likely the first to compare Israel’s experience to South African apartheid or American slavery.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said while Jerusalem was unfamiliar with the upcoming report, it rejected ESCWA’s attempts to “delegitimize Israel.”

“ESCWA continues its work, as seen in previous reports meant to delegitimize Israel, work that has been rejected not only by Israel but by other countries in the region and the UN’s secretary general. We continue to reject anti-Israel reports,” said Michal Maayan, a deputy spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. “We reject the continuous efforts to delegitimize Israel by writing new reports regarding the situation in the area.”

A source in Jerusalem said another ESCWA report on alleged human rights abuses by Israel and other Western countries had been quietly shelved before it was released.

Executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein in Jerusalem, February 19, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, expressed hopes this new report would also never see the light of day, predicting the study would be used as an instrument against Israel.

“We hope the United Nations will work to prevent its publication and distribution and posting it online,” he said.

The report will “be used by the Palestinians, either in negotiations or even going to an international court and making demands on Israel for compensation, saying, ‘Well, look, a UN agency evaluated it,’” he told The Times of Israel.

The report methodology outline itself says it aims to provide the “necessary tools to support the Palestinian people by revealing the impact of occupation on the economy and society” and that “broadening the scope of support material increases the ability to raise awareness of Palestinian rights and the parameters of international law that should be taken into account when considering the Israeli occupation and its practices.”

In an interview Tuesday evening, Hoenlein also questioned whether the cost of Israel’s presence in the West Bank could even be tallied.

“There’s no way that you can calculate that cost or even define it,” he said. “They claim that they have developed new methodologies in order to calculate it. This is at the very least specious.”

ESCWA head Khalaf resigned her post on March 17 after Guterres insisted that the group’s previous report on Israel be removed from the agency’s website.

That report had concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Jordanian UN official Rima Khalaf who heads the Beirut-based U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (YouTube/UNESCWA)

It’s not clear if the resignation of Khalaf, long criticized by Israeli officials for her perceived anti-Israel positions, will affect the new study. The authors have not yet been named.

The shelved document was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously served as the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine.

Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the 2005 book “The One-State Solution,” also worked on the project that said Israel was guilty of “racial domination” over the Palestinians.

Khalaf’s stepping down came after the Trump administration vehemently called for the report’s removal.

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said America was “outraged” by the report and dismissed ESCWA’s capacity to render an honest assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” she said.

ESCWA latest Israeli-focused report comes to light to light just after Haley delivered an impassioned talk to the AIPAC’s annual policy conference Tuesday, in which she repeatedly said the US would no longer tolerate UN hostility to Israel.

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley thanks the crowd before she speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference held at the Verizon Center in Washington, Monday, March 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“If you challenge us, be prepared for what you’re challenging us for, because we will respond,” she exclaimed, telling the crowd she has sent a message to the world body at large that “the days of Israel bashing are over and that “there’s a new sheriff in town.”

On Wednesday, Haley continued to attack the UN at a conference organized at the world body to address the challenges of the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.

“The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same. They both seek to deny Israel’s right to exist,” she said.

UN chief orders report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ pulled from web

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres requested the removal of a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the website of the UN body that published it, Reuters reported Friday, citing an unnamed official in the international body.

Guterres had previously distanced himself from the report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which is comprised of 18 Arab countries.

The report was still available online Friday morning US-time, but was later removed.

The United States on Wednesday had demanded that the report be withdrawn altogether.

“The United States is outraged by the report,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

Based in Beirut, ESCWA lists the state of Palestine as a full member, and works to strengthen cooperation and promote development.

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” said Haley.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shaking hands with new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations in New York, January 27, 2017. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

Haley has accused the United Nations of being biased against Israel and has vowed as President Donald Trump’s envoy to staunchly defend Israel at the world body.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon slammed the commission on Wednesday for releasing the report which accuses Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Danon said 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.”

Rima Khalaf (YouTube Screen Shot)

“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. We call on the Secretary-General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks to the UN Security Council after it passed an anti-settlement resolution, December 23, 2016 (UN Screenshot)

The report published Wednesday, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed 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, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

“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 report reads.

Richard Falk (photo credit: AP/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi/File)

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

Haley described Falk as “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

Palestinian leaders pan UN for scrapping Israel ‘apartheid’ report

Palestinian leaders on Saturday condemned the United Nations for scrapping an agency’s report that charged Israel is an “apartheid regime” guilty of “racial domination” over the Palestinians.

Published last week by the Beirut-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the report drew swift and vociferous criticism from US and Israeli officials, and led to the resignation of the agency’s director after the UN secretary-general ordered it removed from UN websites.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly called commission chair Rima Khalaf to congratulate her for resigning in protest at the UN’s rejection of her report, and to promise her the PA’s highest honors.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi accused UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of giving in to politically motivated intimidation in rejecting the report.

“Instead of succumbing to political blackmail or allowing itself to be censured or intimidated by external parties, the UN should condemn the acts described in the report and hold Israel responsible,” Ashrawi said, according to the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa.

She praised the report as a “step in the right direction” which highlighted “the true reality on the ground which is one of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and military occupation.” She also demanded Guterres “undertake serious and concrete measures to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of international law and human rights.”

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also condemned the UN’s deletion of the report.

“Shelving the report does not shelve the reality on the ground,” he said according to Channel 2.

Rima Khalaf in 2014 (YouTube screenshot)

After ESCWA, which comprises 18 Arab countries, published its report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” last Wednesday, the US demanded the document be removed from UN websites. “The United States is outraged by the report,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement.

UN chief Guterres initially distanced himself from the report, and later ordered it removed from ESCWA’s website.

ESCWA executive secretary Khalaf on Friday announced her resignation in protest of Guterres’s order.

“The secretary-general asked me yesterday morning to withdraw [the report]. I asked him to rethink his decision, he insisted, so I submitted my resignation from the UN,” Khalaf said at a Friday press conference in Beirut.

“We expected of course that Israel and its allies would put huge pressure on the secretary-general of the UN so that he would disavow the report, and that they would ask him to withdraw it,” Khalaf, who had also served as an under-secretary-general to Guterres, added.

Guterres accepted Khalaf’s resignation. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric explained to media in New York that “the secretary-general cannot accept that an under-secretary-general or any other senior UN official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the UN name, under the UN logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself,” according to Reuters.

Israel ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council on January 17, 2017 (Courtesy)

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon and Washington’s ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley, welcomed Khalaf’s resignation. Khalaf has long been criticized by Israeli officials for her perceived anti-Israel positions.

Danon said Guterres’s move was “an important step in stopping discrimination against Israel.” In a statement, Danon said “Anti-Israel activists do not belong in the UN. It is time to put an end to practice in which UN officials use their position to advance their anti-Israel agenda.” He added that “over the years Khalaf has worked to harm Israel and advocate for the BDS movement. Her removal from the UN is long overdue.”

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, who had demanded the report’s withdrawal Wednesday, said in a statement: “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the US, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the secretary-general’s decision to distance his good office from it.”

ESCWA’s report said that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

Its authors concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole.”

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shaking hands with new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations in New York, January 27, 2017. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

The Beirut-based commission slammed 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 accused Israel of “practices” that have fragmented Palestinians, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

Richard Falk (photo credit: AP/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi/File)

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

Haley described Falk as “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

ADL URGES UN TO RECALL ‘BIASED’ REPORT TERMING ISRAEL ‘APARTHEID REGIME’

 

NEW YORK – The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday urged the UN to immediately recall a UN agency’s “hostile and biased” that accuses Israel of being an “apartheid regime.”

The 74-page document, published by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday, points a finger at Israel for racial discrimination toward Palestinians.

“Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” the report states.

This was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge, angering Israeli officials who compared the report to the Third Reich’s wildly antisemitic Der Sturmer newspaper.

“Rather than provide constructive analysis about Israeli policy in the West Bank, this report is rife with outrageous accusations of criminality and apartheid practices, and reflects the biased agenda of the authors,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Thursday. “This report does not meet any reasonable standard of judiciousness or constructive analysis about Israeli policy or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The ADL praised the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for distancing itself from the report.

A spokesman for the UN chief said on Wednesday that the report was released without any consultation with the United Nations Secretariat, and that as it stands, it does not reflect the views of the secretary- general.

Both Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and his US counterpart, Nikki Haley, had called on the secretary-general to make this clear.

ESCWA, headquartered in Beirut, is composed of 18 Arab states in Western Asia and aims to support economic and social development in member states, according to its website. The report was prepared at the request of member states.

US demands UN pull report accusing Israel of apartheid

The United States on Wednesday demanded that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres withdraw a report by a UN body accusing Israel of imposing apartheid on the Palestinians and of racially dominating them.

Guterres distanced himself from the report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) but US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it should be scrapped altogether.

“The United States is outraged by the report,” said Haley in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

Based in Beirut, ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab countries, according to its website, which lists the state of Palestine as a full member, and works to strengthen cooperation and promote development.

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” said Haley.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shaking hands with new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations in New York,  January 27, 2017. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

Haley has accused the United Nations of being biased against Israel and has vowed as President Donald Trump’s envoy to staunchly defend Israel at the world body.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon earlier slammed the commission for releasing the report which accuses Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Danon said 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.”

Rima Khalaf (YouTube Screen Shot)

“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. We call on the Secretary-General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks to the UN Security Council after it passed an anti-settlement resolution, December 23, 2016 (UN Screenshot)

The report published Wednesday, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed 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, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk (photo credit: UN Watch)

“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 report reads.

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

Haley described Falk as “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

Israel fumes as UN board slams its ‘apartheid, racial domination’ over Palestinians

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday after the commission released a report accusing Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed 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, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

Richard Falk (photo credit: AP/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi/File)

“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 report reads.

Danny Danon, Israel’s UN envoy, hit back at the report, saying 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.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks to the UN Security Council after it passed an anti-settlement resolution, December 23, 2016 (UN Screenshot)

“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. We call on the Secretary General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

At a press conference accompanying the release of the report, Falk said the document and its findings “come after 50 years of frustrated diplomacy that failed to find a way to liberate the Palestinian people from oppression and denial of rights.”

Tilley said “it has become entirely clear that we’re longer talking about risk of apartheid but practice of apartheid.”

“There is an urgency for a response as Palestinians are currently suffering from this regime,” she said.

British FM: Alternative to two-state solution is apartheid

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned that the alternative to a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an “apartheid system,” in an interview with an Israeli newspaper published Thursday.

Johnson had a whistlestop 24-hour visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority Wednesday in which he reaffirmed British support for Israel but criticized settlement building in the West Bank.

“What we are saying is that you have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid system,” Johnson said in an interview published in the English-language daily The Jerusalem Post.

The two-state solution, meaning the creation of a Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel, is a key policy goal of the international community.

US President Donald Trump cast uncertainty over his country’s commitment to the idea when he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February, saying he would be open to a single state if it led to peace.

Palestinians fear the prospect of a single state in which Israel would not give the same rights to Jews and Arabs, with senior leaders warning it would constitute “apartheid.”

Netanyahu has expressed official support for a two-state outcome to the conflict, but also promised voters during his 2015 election campaign that a Palestinian state would not be established “on my watch.”

In Ramallah on Wednesday, Johnson stressed that his government’s policy was “absolutely unchanged” and it remains committed to two states.

The international community considers continuing settlement growth in the West Bank a major obstacle to peace.

Parts of Netanyahu’s right-wing government advocate annexing at least part of the West Bank.

When meeting Netanyahu on Wednesday, Johnson stressed Britain’s “rock-like” support of Israel, but also touched on settlement building.

“Israel has first and foremost an absolute right to live in security, and the people of Israel deserve to be safe from terrorism,” Johnson said.

But he later added: “Of course we must also try to remove obstacles to peace and progress such as the settlements.”

Trump’s top Pentagon pick said settlements were creating apartheid (GOOD!!!!)

WASHINGTON — One of President-elect Donald Trump’s leading candidates for secretary of defense has said Israel’s settlement project could turn the country into an apartheid state and that the United States pays a price for its support of Israel.

Retired Marine Corps general James Mattis met with the incoming president Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to reportedly discuss a cabinet post.

According to CNN, Trump was extremely impressed by Mattis, who is now his top choice to run the Defense Department, a position whose power over the US military is second only to that of the president.

Mattis’s resume includes over two years heading the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) under President Barack Obama from August 2010 to March 2013, a post that has command authority for all US forces in the Middle East.

During Mattis’s tenure, he held a commanding presence in the war theaters on Afghanistan and Iraq, experiences for which Trump offered high praise after their hour-long meeting. “All I can say is he is the real deal,” he said. “The real deal.”

When Trump was asked by reporters if Mattis would have a role in the upcoming administration, he said: “We’ll see. We’ll see. He’s just a brilliant, wonderful man. What a career. We are going to see what happens, but he is the real deal.”

In July 2013, shortly after leaving his post running CENTCOM, Mattis said the current situation in Israeli was “unsustainable” and that settlements were obstructing the possibility of a two-state outcome between Israelis and Palestinians, comments that seem to fly in the face of Trump’s position as reported by his Israel advisers.

“The current situation is unsustainable,” Mattis told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado when asked about the peace process. “It’s got to be directly addressed. We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for it are starting to ebb because of the settlements, and where they’re at, they’re going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”

Mattis specifically warned that if Israel continued to expand its settlement presence, its long-term character as a Jewish and democratic state would be at risk, ultimately leading to Israel becoming an apartheid state.

“If I’m in Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid,” he said.

Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander, U.S. Central Command, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country,” he added, presumably alluding to South Africa. “So we’ve got to work on this with a sense of urgency.”

In that same conversation, Mattis told Blitzer that the US paid a price for its support of Israel and the perception of bias it broadcasts to the rest of the Arab world.

“I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” he said, “and that moderates, all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.”

Trump’s position on Israeli settlements is unclear, but many in Israel and the US see him as willing to tolerate at least some Israeli settlement building in much the way past Republican administrations have.

In an interview in May, he seemed to back Israeli building in settlements.

During his campaign for the presidency, he said Jerusalem was Israel’s undivided capital and vowed to move the US Embassy there, a move that would break with Washington’s policy of not recognizing Israel’s de facto annexation of East Jerusalem.

A day after Trump was elected president, his adviser Jason Greenblatt told Israel’s Army Radio that the president-elect “does not view the settlements as an obstacle to peace.”

Mattis’s comments are not out of sync with others who’ve held his role. His predecessor, General David Petraus, once told the Senate Armed Services committee that the “conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel.”

If Trump selected Mattis to head the Pentagon, his 2013 retirement from the military would require a Congressional waiver to grant him eligibility for the position. US statutes require any retired officer to spend at least seven years outside the military before obtaining extensive responsibilities within the Department of Defense.

Given the Republican control of both houses of Congress, it is highly likely that permission would be granted.

Israel’s added $18.6M for settlements spurs talk of apartheid from Palestinians

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved an additional $18.6 million for West Bank settlements to help defray the costs of their “unique security situation,” spurring one Palestinian leader to say Israel “openly supports apartheid.”

On Sunday at its weekly meeting, the government approved a budgetary supplement that includes stipends for local councils in the West Bank and aid to improve security at public buildings. There are also allocations for small businesses, to develop tourism and for youth programming.

The assistance plan “involves the work of many ministries on behalf of the residents there,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Israel has faced an uptick in terror attacks, mostly stabbing attacks, in the past eight months.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat decried the allocation.

“Israel is doing everything possible to sabotage every effort to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he said. “This is yet another slap in the face of the international community despite several recent international attempts to cover up the Israeli crimes and violations. It is time for the international community to assume its responsibilities toward this extremist government, which openly supports apartheid and stands against the two-state solution.”

A day before the vote, Ofer Newman, spokesman for the left-wing Zionist Union party, said in a Facebook post that the settlers “built swimming pools on the blood of children they murdered.”

“What kind of a twisted moral basis enables these people to stride along on a path toward the deaths of thousands of Israelis without anyone saying to them: ‘You have gone too far! You are lowly murderers. You belong in prison!’” he also said in the post.

Newman apologized on Sunday, saying the outburst was a result of seeing the new movie “The Settlers,” which focuses on the most extremist leaders of the settlement movement.

Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog rejected Newman’s remarks in a statement on Facebook, saying it was “very critical, very blunt, and very wrong, because it creates a generalization that I am unwilling to accept and uses imagery that we mustn’t use under any circumstances.”

“I meet with settlers nearly every day; the Labor Party encouraged and built part of the settlement enterprise, and even if we have criticism about the settler leadership, they are and always will be our brothers and part of our extended family. We have a profound, difficult ideological debate with the settler leadership and it will continue, but even in the middle of the debate, we will uphold their honor and do so respectfully.”

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