B'Tselem chief, Arab-Israeli MK to address UN forum on '50 years of occupation'
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez (AFP/File)
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday again condemned Israel’s military control of the West Bank at the opening of a Palestinian-led ‘UN Forum on Fifty Years of Occupation’ that also features speakers from the Knesset and left-wing Israeli non-governmental organizations.
In a statement released on Thursday and read aloud at the opening of the forum at UN headquarters in New York, organized by Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Guterres said the “occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people.”
“Ending the occupation is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty,” he said in a statement read on his behalf by Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina J. Mohamed. “It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”
He called for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The two-day event includes a panel discussion on Friday featuring a host of prominent pro-peace activists, including Hagai El-Ad, director of the B’Tselem human rights organization, Muna Haddad from Adalah, an advocacy group for minority rights in Israel, and Omar Shakir, who Israel initially prevented from entering the country after he became country director for Human Rights Watch, a global NGO.
Dr. Shlomo Ben-Ami, a dovish former Foreign Minister of Israel, is also slated to participate, alongside former Palestinian chief negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat and Aida Touma-Sliman, a Knesset member for the Arab Joint List, the third largest party in the parliament.
Her participation drew the ire of Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, who said earlier in June that “it is shameful that a member of Knesset is abusing her position and is working together with the Palestinians to harm Israel at the UN,” according to a statement quoted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“Her presence at this anti-Israel gathering, with the sole purpose of defaming our country, crosses all red lines,” the Ambassador said.
On Thursday, Israel’s UN delegation further lashed out the gathering, accusing two Palestinian NGOs who are taking part, Al Haq and the Al Mazan Center for Human Rights, of collaborating with Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Times of Israel reported.
“The UN is colluding with supporters of terror seeking to harm Israel,” Danon said in a further statement quoted by the Times of Israel. “It is beyond comprehension that UN funds are supporting organizations which aid terrorists and incite against Israel. We call on the Secretary General to intervene immediately and prevent these individuals from appearing at the UN.”
Guterres' criticism of Israel on Thursday were almost identical to a special statement made earlier in June to mark the 50 year anniversary of the Six Day War.
It was separately reported on Thursday that the UN head honcho will make his first visit to Israel in August.
He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin during the tour, Ynet reported, although a date has yet to be determined.
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The Pal had many oppotto get their entity but they want the whole and therefore nothing. Most "peoples" disappear from the h/o humanity, why not the pal who main goal is genocide!
It is even more shameful that a former an Israeli former foreign secretary participate in that shameful UN debate initiated by hostile UN Secretary. On this Israel's Prophet says: "your destroyers and those who ruin you will emerge from within you". Therefore apart from the former Israeli high officer there is also a contribution by an Arab Member of the Knesset, who presents herself as a "Palestinian", namely an enemy of the Jewish State, and the question is how come such treachery is acceptable? the answer is that the Israeli High Court known as "Bagatz" systematically endorses the right of the Arabs to become members of Israel's parliament irrespective of their views and is due to the Judges liberal values which are imposed upon the entire public against their will and against the values of their democratically elected government. In short Israel's leftists elites collude with its Palestinians and act against the vital interests of their country by forcing the State of Israel to become a state of all its citizens as opposed to the Jewish State which it is supposed to be and was which was established as such.