In a development that stunned United Nations watchers, the global body pulled from its website a statement accusing Israel of “crime against humanity” for its “apartheid” policy regarding Palestinians.
The withdrawal of the report from the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia was unexpected as the United Nations has issued more condemnations of Israel than any other nation on earth, including North Korea and Somalia.
But the statement’s claims that “the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity,” apparently went too far even for the international organization’s leaders.
While a statement about the report remained online at the U.N. site on Monday, the actual report appeared to have been withdrawn. The U.N.’s link to it instead produced a generic list of reports. However, the document has been posted by Al Araby, the London-based Arabic TV channel.
Jonathan S. Tobin explained in a National Review Online article what happened.
“It isn’t easy to get worked up at the United Nations, an institution where the egregious is merely business as usual. But even veteran observers of the world body had to sit up and take notice when its Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia published a report about Israel that Secretary General Antonio Gutteres himself immediate disavowed.
“The lengthy document purported to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that the state of Israel was guilty of ‘the crime of apartheid’ according to international law. As such, it didn’t merely criticize Israel’s policies in the West Bank; it called into question the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself, even with pre-1967 borders.”
Why it’s time to leave anti-Jew U.N. by Joseph Farah
Tobin said that even with the withdrawal, “the damage is already done.”
“The report is a pseudo-scholarly compendium of specious charges, distortions, and outright lies. Even for an institution in which agencies devoted to human rights are run by representatives of Saudi Arabia and Iran – an institution that has made grossly unfair accusations against Israel something of a sport over the years – this one stands out, because it goes beyond merely smearing the Jewish state offering legal justification for future attacks against Israel and Jews.”
The alarm over the U.N.’s anti-Israel agenda reached a critical mass late last year when it approved, yet again, a condemnation of the Middle East democracy and U.S. ally for building housing for its citizens.
The Trump administration now has announced plans to make major cuts to funding for the U.N. But even that might not be enough.
Though it was just latest of many U.N. attacks on Israel, the overreach prompted a reaction, including calls to withdraw U.S. funding of the global body and even to drop membership and order it to vacate its properties on U.S. soil.
“We further urge [President] Donald J. Trump and the Republican Congress to declare all United Nations resolutions, treaties and other explicit and implicit commitments to be no longer binding on the United States and violations of American sovereignty. … We urge President-elect Donald J. Trump and the Republican Congress to use all available means to encourage allies of the United States and Israel to withdraw from the United Nations and withhold all funding and official recognition from that organization,” it states.
ForeignPolicy.com quoted unidentified sources who said staff members at the State Department “have been instructed to seek cuts in excess of 50 percent in U.S. funding for U.N. programs.”
The U.N. long has had opposition in the U.S. because it has sought curtail the human rights of Americans through its gun and child protection treaties, it ambitiously promotes abortion around the globe and is wholeheartedly behind the “global warming” agenda that seeks to redistribute the financial assets of the Western world.
Tobin explain Gutteres objected to the comments and agreed to withdraw the document.
“Never before has the U.N. officially tied Israel to apartheid. At a time when, despite the efforts of the Trump administration to revive talks, Middle East peace seems more unlikely than ever, the report’s findings will make it even harder to persuade the Palestinians to compromise and finally accept the necessity of giving up its war on the Jewish state,” he wrote.
“And by putting the U.N. seal of approval on the ‘apartheid’ libel, the report will provide aid and comfort to those whose anti-Zionist incitement provides a thin veil of legitimacy for the growth of anti-Semitism across the globe.”
Tobin revealed the report is the work of two Americans, Princeton law professor emeritus Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley of the University of Southern Illinois.
“As a 9/11 truther and an anti-Israel extremist, Falk is particularly unqualified to evaluate the conflict. Yet together with Tilley, he has put together a document that lists Palestinian grievances while ignoring those of Israel in a complex conflict where both sides have suffered. And that’s not all: Rather than merely claim that Israel must evacuate the territories it won in a defensive war in 1967, as most of its critics assert, their report goes straight to the heart of the matter by using Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state to justify the apartheid charge.”
He explained that presumption simply ignores the reality that Israel is a Jewish-majority country that grants the Arab minority full rights.
“It similarly considers irrelevant the fact that the standoff over the disputed territory of the West Bank is the result of Palestinian unwillingness to recognize Israel’s right to exist within any borders, stubbornly maintained through repeated refusals of peace offers that would have created a Palestinian state.”
The report says it’s the international community’s responsible to fix, since that group created the problem.
“The international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies, and member states, have a legal obligation to act within the limits of their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention. More specifically, states have a collective duty: (1) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful;; (b) not to aid or assist a state in maintaining an apartheid regime; and (c) to cooperate with the United Nationas and other states in bringing apartheid regimes to an end.”
The now-discredited report recommended the U.N. should have a Committee against Apartheid and should seek an opinion from the International Court of Justice on Israel as to whether national governments should oppose “the apartheid system in Israel.”
The report said: “Exclusive Israeli control since 1967 over all of Mandate Palestine has preserved the original geographical unit of Palestine. Hence the ‘country’ in which Palestinians are being deprived of rights could be the Palestine that was never allowed to form and arguably should form.”