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Cablegate: Un General Assembly: Report On Human Rights In

VZCZCXRO5433
PP RUEHROV
DE RUCNDT #0944/01 3051334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011334Z NOV 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2943
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON PRIORITY 0524
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA PRIORITY 0104
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0771
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2914

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000944

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM UNGA KPAL IS
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

REF: USUN NEWYORK 00925

1. (U) Summary: On October 24, Professor John Dugard, UN
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories, briefed the Third Committee
of the General Assembly on his latest report, UN document
A/62/275 of 17 August 2007. Israel called the report
one-sided and filled with misrepresentations and
misstatements. Many members of the Non-Aligned Movement,
including Arab states, responded positively to the report.
Speaking for the United States, Ambassador Grover Joseph Rees
criticized Dugard's questioning of the UN role in the Quartet
and the comparison of the situation in Palestine with
apartheid. Rees described U.S. support for the Palestinian
people and also noted the impact of Palestinian attacks on
Israeli citizens. The full text of the U.S. statement is
available at the website of the U.S. Mission to the UN:
www.usunnewyork.usmission.
gov/press releases/20071024 256.hmtl. End Summary.

----------------
Israeli Response
----------------

2. (U) The Israeli delegate criticized the report, which she
argued was one-sided and filled with misrepresentations and
misstatements. The delegate stated that the report
demonstrated the personal agenda of the Rapporteur,
specifically his argument that terrorism is a "relative
concept." She argued that the report focuses solely on human
rights violations committed by Israel, ignoring those
committed by Palestinians. She also added that this report
undermines the peace process and core humanitarian principles.

--------------------
General NAM Response
--------------------

3. (U) Members of the Non-Aligned Movement, including
Palestine, South Africa, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Syria,
Indonesia, Libya, Senegal, Nicaragua, and Cuba, responded
positively to the report and expressed their admiration for
Professor Dugard. They noted their concern regarding the
human rights situation and described the report using terms
such as "straightforward," "objective," "candid,"
"transparent," and "a relevant picture of Israeli violations
of human rights in the occupied territories." They accused
Israel of gross violations of human rights and international
law and expressed support for the cause of the Palestinian
people and their right to self-determination.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Advisory Opinion: International Court of Justice
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (U) Dugard recommended that the ICJ be asked for an
advisory opinion on the legal consequences for Israel, the
Palestinian people and third states from the prolonged
occupation. Lebanon, South Africa and Nicaragua expressed
support. Lebanon asked Dugard if all of those who turn a
blind eye to the situation in the OPT are legally implicated.
South Africa noted that the recommendation to seek an
additional ICJ advisory opinion has not received due
consideration by the Human Rights Council.

-----------------------
The Role of the Quartet
-----------------------

5. (U) Dugard suggested that the Quartet has a dubious legal
foundation. He stated that it is dominated by the "most
powerful member" and pays little attention to the Palestinian
people. He suggested that the UN consider withdrawing from
the Quartet, or reconsider the role of the UN with regard to
the human rights situation. South Africa agreed that the
Quartet undermines the unity of the Palestinian people and
does not represent the majority of UN member states. Yemen
also criticized the Quartet for focusing its criticism on
Palestine, when the delegate alleged that Israel is in
serious violation of its international obligations.
Indonesia stated that the Quartet has shown inadequate
attention to the situation of the Palestinian people. Egypt
thanked Dugard for highlighting former Special Rapporteur
Alvaro De Soto's report on the Quartet and called for a more
positive and proactive role for the UN in the Quartet.

6. (U) Several other nations also commented on ways to
respond to Israeli occupation. Kuwait and Libya both asked

USUN NEW Y 00000944 002 OF 002


Dugard's opinion on ways to end Israeli occupation. Sudan
asked him what means could be used to compel Israel to comply
with UN General Assembly resolutions with respect to
Palestinian human rights questions.

-----------
EU Response
-----------

7. (U) Speaking for the EU, Portugal expressed the
expectation that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority
will respect human rights and argued that both bear
responsibility to end practices and policies that inhibit a
two-state solution. The delegate asked for suggestions of
meaningful steps for both sides to take under the current
framework. The Portuguese delegate also asked what could be
done to promote national reconciliation in Palestine and
enhance the Palestinian authorities.

----------------------------------
Dugard's Response to US and Israel
----------------------------------

8. (U) Responding to comments by the United States, critical
of his equating the situation in Palestine with apartheid,
Dugard noted that he realized this is a sensitive issue,
since former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was called an
anti-Semite for making the same comparison in his book.

9. (U) Responding to Israel's criticism of Dugard's view that
terrorism is a relative term, Dugard responded that Nelson
Mandela was accused of being a terrorist by Margaret Thatcher
and Vice President Dick Cheney, but is now seen as a "saintly
icon". He also added that former Israeli Prime Ministers
Shamir and Begin were associated with acts of terrorism
against the British occupation. He argued that Israel and
other countries focus so much on terrorism that the real
issues are ignored.

-------
Comment
-------

10. (U) Dugard's views are well known and he did not break
any new ground in his latest report.
Khalilzad

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