Geneva - The bold and long-needed application of the term “apartheid” to Israel by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) should be embraced and echoed by all governments and agencies that truly desire a just resolution of the intractable occupation of Palestinian land, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
“The government of Israel has been allowed by the powerful countries and agencies of the world to expand its regime of ‘separate and unequal’ not only throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, but also within Israel itself and the world’s many refugee camps,” says Pam Bailey, Euro-Med international secretary. “It is far past time to call Israel’s practices what they are: naked apartheid.”
ESCWA calls on state governments and civil society organizations to engage in initiatives to penalize Israel and the institutions that support it through boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions.
The report issued by ESCWA on Wednesday was authored by Euro-Med Board Chair Richard Falk, PhD, and U.S. professor of political science Virginia Tilley. UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf said the report is the "first of its type" from a UN body that "clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people."
However, a UN spokesman took pains to tell journalists the report does not reflect the views of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Euro-Med calls on Guterres to defy the usual objections of Israel and the United States and “finally, do what is right and should have been done decades ago. Hold Israel to account.”