Search

 

Cablegate: Biased Unga Committee Debates Israeli Practices In

VZCZCXRO8891
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #1039/01 3202209
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 162209Z NOV 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3134
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 001039

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAL IS
SUBJECT: BIASED UNGA COMMITTEE DEBATES ISRAELI PRACTICES IN
THE TERRITORIES

1. (SBU) Begin Summary and Comment: The UN General
Assembly's Fourth Committee met November 12-14 to receive and
debate the annual "Report of the (UN) Special Committee to
Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of
the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied
Territories." The three-day debate included statements from
30 countries (primarily Arab and Muslim states), most of
which condemned Israel's "occupation" of Arab lands,
construction of the separation barrier and settlements,
administration of "collective punishment" of Palestinians,
targeted killings, and obstruction of the free movement of
Palestinians. The Syrian PR accused Israel of actions that
"take us back to the dark ages of Nazism and fascism."
Israel called the Committee's actions shameful, and
characterized the rhetoric as "a relic from a by-gone era."
Given the focus of this Special Committee, which was first
established in the 1970s, it was inevitable that many Arab
and Muslim states would expound at great length on their
views regarding Israeli practices. Most of these states,
however, expressed much more balanced positions in support of
efforts to advance the peace process when they took the floor
in the General Assembly during the opening days of this
session. End Summary and Comment.

The Report of the Special Committee
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) Sri Lankan PR Prasad Kariyawasam, Chair of the
Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting
the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of
the Occupied Territories, delivered the committee's annual
report to the Fourth Committee November 12. (The UNGA's
Fourth Committee handles issues related to decolonization and
special political matters.) The report was largely a retread
of past reports including the following allegations: that
Israel has denied the Special Committee access to the
occupied territories covered by its mandate; that
self-determination for Palestinians continues to be an
elusive goal because of violations by Israel of human rights
and international humanitarian law, including Israel's
"collective punishment" of 1.5 million Gazans, military
incursions, shelling and air strikes, and targeted
assassinations. The chairman condemned the "accelerated"
settlement activity in the West Bank, as well as the
construction of the separation barrier. He asserted that 80
percent of the barrier is being built upon occupied
Palestinian territory, and that upon completion the barrier
will encompass 13 percent of the West Bank.

General Debate
--------------

3. (SBU) The great majority of the 30 delegations that made
statements called for a halt to Israel's construction of the
separation barrier. Many referred to the International Court
of Justice's opinion on this matter. Several countries --
Qatar, Libya, Yemen, and Jordan -- condemned Israel's
excavation activities around the Temple Mount. Iran accused
Israel of "state terrorism, targeted assassination,
extrajudicial killing, collective punishment, property
confiscation and destruction, mass arrests and arbitrary
detention, humiliating and cruel treatment of the
Palestinians and other Arabs detained in Israeli jail." New
Zealand and Portugal, on behalf of the European Union,
condemned rocket attacks on Israeli soil and urged Israel to
use restraint when defending itself. Portugal also condemned
Israeli settlement activities, which it said is in violation
of international law and the Roadmap.

Palestine and Syrian Statements
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) Syria's statement was the most extreme. The Syrian
Permanent Representative accused Israel of actions that "take
us back to the dark ages of Nazism and fascism." He accused
Israel of burying nuclear waste in the Golan close to the
Syrian border, and said, "we are in a hurry to reach peace,
but we are not willing to give up land. This land will be
Syrian sooner or later." Syria said that Israel flaunts
international law because of the support that it receives
from "this influential state or that." He continued, "This
action is a pouring of oil on fire and Israel should expect
an appropriate response in time." Syria urged the
international community to take concrete measures to force
Israel to respect international orders.

5. (SBU) The Palestinian representative accused Israel of
"oppression, violence, colonization, collective punishment,
and apartheid." He condemned the construction of the
separation barrier and said, "It is clearly being built not

USUN NEW Y 00001039 002 OF 002


for security reasons but primarily in an attempt to de facto
annex more land, particularly on which the settlements have
been illegally built." He also accused Israel of restricting
the freedom of movement, the destruction of livelihoods, the
obstruction of access to medical care, education, essential
humanitarian aid, places of religious worship, and securing
an adequate standard of living. He concluded by calling for
a two-State solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with
East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel's Statement
------------------

6. (SBU) The Israeli representative described the
Committee's report as "replete with duplication bordering on
plagiarism and one-sided propaganda," and he called the
Committee "a relic from a by-gone era" whose existence cannot
be justified morally, intellectually, or politically. Israel
criticized the Committee for not placing any responsibility
upon Arabs for their situation. He called the Committee's
conduct "shameful," and said that the real agenda of the
Committee is not to help Palestinians but to harm Israel.
After discussing some of the anti-Jewish accusations from the
Committee, the Israeli delegate said, "We can, however, find
consolation in the fact that since the Special Committee is
such a marginal and even trivial body, it is very unlikely
that many people outside this room have ever heard of it -
never mind actually read their reports."

7. (SBU) The Fourth Committee will consider five resolutions
on November 20 under Agenda Item 34: Special Committee to
Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of
the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied
Territories.

--"Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli
Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian
People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories"

--"Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August
1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East
Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories"

--"Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan"

--"Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the
Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
including East Jerusalem"

--"The Occupied Syrian Golan"
Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

Unsplash/ElevenPhotographs The US Capitol building in Washington D.C. A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>