A coalition of Arab countries accused Israel Wednesday of maintaining an apartheid regime to dominate Palestinians.
Operating under the guise of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission, 18 countries stretching from Morocco to Iraq concluded 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 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines apartheid as a crime against humanity. Article II of the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines the offense as “[…] similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to… inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”
The report accuses Israel of fostering “strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people” in order to control them, and supposedly dividing Palestinians into four legal “domains”: “Palestinians” living as Israeli citizens but with a separate regime of civil law, Palestinians living in Jerusalem, who enjoy permanent resident status, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria who live under military law and the descendants of Arab Palestinians who left Israel during the 1948 War of Independence and currently reside outside territory under Israel’s control. The report also defines the Gaza Strip as “occupied territory,” despite the fact that the area has had no Israeli civilian or military presence since 2005.
United Nations Economic and Social Commission Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf of Jordan said the report “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system.”
Khalaf, who also serves as U.N. Under-Secretary General and has called for boycotting Israel, added that there will be “no solution of any type to the Israel-Palestinian conflict” until the “apartheid regime” has been dismantled.
Predictably, Israel’s response to the attack came quickly. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, blasted the report, saying “the attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre.”
“This report is entirely a sermon of hatred and anti-Semitism,” added Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid. Instead of defending freedom, democracy and liberal values United Nations bodies serve only to aid terror groups. Does anyone think it’s reasonable for a UN agency that includes Syria and Sudan to preach about morals to the State of Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East that protects minority rights and grants humanitarian aid to its enemies.
Notably, the report comes on the heels of comments by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley calling on the UN to address the organization’s anti-Israel bias and “breathtaking double standards” in the aftermath of the Security Council Resolution 2334.