In its first report released on 7 June, 2022, the United Nations (UN) Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory found that the Israeli occupation is the reason behind the suffering of Palestinians and the perpetuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The continued occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory and discrimination against Palestinians are the key root causes of the recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict in the region,” the report stated.
The Commission noted that “impunity is feeding increased resentment among the Palestinian people,” pointing out that: “Forced displacement, threats of forced displacement, demolitions, settlement construction and expansion, settler violence, and the blockade of Gaza as contributing factors to recurring cycles of violence.”
The Commission’s report also indicated that: “Harassment and abuse of Palestinian women and girls by the Israeli security forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been reported at checkpoints and on the way to and from school and work.”
Giving examples of the Israeli occupation practices, the Commission affirmed that the Israeli occupation government has been: “Acting to alter the demography through the maintenance of a repressive environment for Palestinians and a favourable environment for Israeli settlers.”
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The Commission also pointed to the Israeli law that denies naturalisation to Palestinians married to Israeli citizens, accusing Israel of affording “different civil status, rights and legal protection” for Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Leading international human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have equated Israeli policies against Palestinians to apartheid. Even leading Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, accused Israel of imposing an apartheid regime on Palestinians.
Commenting on the report, respected UN official Navanethem Pillay, who chairs the Commission, asserted: “The findings and recommendations relevant to the underlying root causes were overwhelmingly directed towards Israel, which we have taken as an indicator of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the reality of one state occupying the other.”
The Foreign Ministry of the Israeli occupation state automatically dismissed the report as: “Nothing more than a waste of money and effort of the United Nations’ systems, part and parcel of the witch hunt being carried out by the Human Rights Council against Israel.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry called the report “biased and one-sided” and “tainted with hatred for the State of Israel,” claiming that the three commissioners of the Commission’s panel were selected solely because of their public anti-Israel stances.
Israel’s very existence is based on a lie. Israel has been disrespecting human rights long before its existence, but why does the US, which considers itself the guardian of the world and the protector of human rights and democracy, adopt the Israeli claims?
In a statement, the US Department of State called the Commission: “A one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace.” It also indicated that “the report of the Commission… does nothing to alleviate our concerns,” calling it “a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel.”
Why does the US insist on turning a blind eye to daily Israeli crimes against Palestinians? Israeli crimes do not need a magnifying glass to expose them because they are being carried out in broad daylight.
In a show of full support for Israeli crimes and disregard for the repeated reports that reveal Israeli crimes and discrimination against Palestinians, the US quit the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 after it claimed it was plagued with “chronic bias” against Israel. Earlier this year, it fully rejoined the Council, but continued defending Israel, despite the abundance of proof of its continuous crimes against Palestinians.
Across the globe, there is no human rights group nor NGO that does not condemn Israel for its crimes and discrimination against Palestinians, even US and Israeli ones. Israel continues ignoring them, and the US continues trusting Israel, while distrusting all others.
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Last month, Al-Jazeera reported that Manu Pineda, a Spanish member of the European Parliament and chair of the parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine, was scheduled to travel to the Occupied Palestinian Territories with a group of European lawmakers. The purpose of his visit was to review the situation on the ground after the killing of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
However, the delegation was forced to cancel its trip to the Occupied Territories after the group’s chairperson was denied entry into Israel. “Israel is blocking the work of the European Parliament,” Pineda tweeted. He shared a decision by the Israeli Foreign Ministry denying him entry, adding that the delegation had also been denied access to the besieged Gaza Strip.
The European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine consists of 18 members, none of them Palestinian. It informs the European Union legislature about political, economic and human rights developments in the territory.
If the US does not trust the human rights commissions and groups, why it does not send its own commissions to stand with Israeli practices against Palestinians and persuade the world that they are not forms of aggression or racism?
One of the most trusted and leading international rights groups, the US’ Human Rights Watch, said in a report issued a year ago: “[Between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River], Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”
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What more does the US need in order to start questioning its blind trust in the Israeli occupation? I do not expect the US to one day open its eyes. However, it will continue its biased policies toward Israel despite its daily crimes and aggression because Israel is not an actual state. It is a tool planted to maintain disunity among Arab and Muslim countries in the region so that they could be easily dominated and controlled and their natural resources stolen.
Therefore, the US, and all its Western and non-Western partners who see the daily Israeli crimes against Palestinians, will continue trusting Israel, defending and protecting it as long as they have interests in the region, regardless of human rights violations or barbaric dictatorships.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.