Zionist apartheid

The Israeli occupation authorities have been pursuing a racial discrimination policy against the Palestinian people since the very beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1948. Moreover, the International community, especially the UN Security Council have been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear tothe Zionist racist and  repressive measures against the Palestinians.

A new UN report says Israel has been imposing an apartheid regime of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people.The report, commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), said  that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.

The study, which has been authored by Richard Falk, a former UN human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories, and Virginia Tilley, a professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, said the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people was the main method through which Israel imposes apartheid.

Falk, who has served as the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, had said Israeli policies had unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

The report said that on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence,Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. The new finding divides Palestinians into four groups oppressed through distinct laws, policies and practices.

Speaking at an event to launch the report at the ESCWA's Beirut headquarters, former UN  Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf emphasized that the report was the first of its type from a UN body that clearly and frankly concludes that racist Israel has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people.

It also said the construction of Israeli settlements has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.The settlements that Israel has built in the West Bank are home to nearly 500,000 people and are deemed to be illegal under international law.

Khalaf has resigned due to coercive measures used against her to withdraw a UN report revealing Israel’s imposition of an "apartheid regime" on Palestinians. Khalaf, 64, who is a highly decorated former minister with decades of experience in the field of human advancements, resigned  after what she described as pressure from the UN chief.

Khalaf, who was appointed as under-secretary general and executive secretary at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) by Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary general, said the present UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres forced her resignation.

Khalaf's report concluded, "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole." The report was removed from the ESCWA's website. It was expected that Israel and its allies would put enormous pressure on the United Nations secretary general to renounce the report. Khalaf is an internationally-recognized and honored figure in academic circles. She is known for her contributions for advancements in the field of education, women’s rights, civic engagement and economic growth.

It was expected that Israel and its allies will exercise pressure on the UN secretary-general to distance himself from the report and that they will ask him to withdraw it. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had distanced himself from the report, saying it reflected its authors' views. It was no longer visible on the ESCWA's website.In 2014, the then US Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned that Israel risked becoming "an apartheid state" if a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians was not found soon.

The report was a step in the right direction and should be reinstated.Instead of succumbing to political blackmail or allowing itself to be censored or intimidated by external parties, the UN should condemn the repressive acts described in the report and hold Israel responsible for its racist policy.