Responding to the news that UN official Rima Khalaf has resigned in protest after claiming she was pressured to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid over its treatment of Palestinians, Green MEP Keith Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Palestine delegation, said:
“I commend Rima for taking a principled stand, but it is extremely sad that she has been forced out her job for backing a well-researched report highlighting the suffering of the Palestinian people; the only place in which the claim of apartheid is truly contentious is in the Knesset.”
“That the Palestinians are suffering under an apartheid regime is a serious but entirely justified accusation when levelled against the Israeli government. That a UN-affiliated report recognised the oppressive nature of Benjamin Netanyahu’s governance is long overdue and should be welcomed, not withdrawn.”
“Almost thirteen years ago, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a court of the people created in reaction to injustices and violations of international law not dealt with by existing international jurisdictions, found during a session in Capetown that, with full regard to the experience of black South Africans, ‘Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law’. And in the intervening years scandalously little has changed for the people of Palestine.”
“The UN secretariat appears to have to kowtowed to US and Isreali pressure in trying to distance itself from a, sadly all too real, description of the regime. Rather than placating Netanyahu’s outrage, the UN should be focused on pressuring the Israeli Prime Minister to address the outrageous injustices perpetrated against millions of Palestinian people.”
“Rima’s departure is a distraction from the work the Israeli government must undertake in an effort to establish a meaningful peace process. Starting with halting the demolition of Palestinian homes; ending the administrative detention of Palestinians, including children, without due process; stopping collective punishment; bringing down the illegal partition wall; ending the illegal land and sea blockade of Gaza; reversing plans to build more illegal settlements; ensuring fairer distribution of natural resources, particularly water; and scrapping a disgraceful ‘land grab’ law that attempts to legalise the theft of private Palestinian lands.”
Mr Taylor recently co-signed a letter calling on the EU Commission to take a stronger stand in protecting the viability of a two-state solution and against the demolition of Palestinian communities by the Isreali government.