TEL AVIV – Israel Ambassador to the UN slammed Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki’s call to countries all around the world to bar entry to Jewish residents of the West Bank as “pure anti-Semitism.”
At a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, Maliki called on the international community to “not deal directly or indirectly with the occupation system, in addition to not allowing the entry of illegal settlers into their country.”
Maliki further accused Israel of systematic terrorism and extrajudicial executions of unarmed Palestinians.
On Tuesday evening, Ambassador Danny Danon responded:
“These remarks are pure anti-Semitism and must be treated as such. Such statements are reminiscent of dark times in history. Jews will no longer be marked and singled out.”
“I call on the international community to denounce the Palestinian Foreign Minister’s remarks and to unequivocally condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism,” he continued.
Maliki’s speech marks the first time that a senior Palestinian official has been given the floor at the opening of the high level segment of the 31st session of the Human Rights Council. Since the U.N. General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in 2012, Palestinian officials enjoy the same speaking rights as member states.
Maliki also called on the international community to impose sanctions on Israel.
“I call on all the countries to boycott settlements and to boycott the products of settlements and to warn of the possibly of imposing economic and commercial sanctions on the occupying power and that in accordance with the guidelines on businesses and human rights.”
Maliki’s speech follows his call last Wednesday to urge the international community into pressuring Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 lines and to end its military rule of the West Bank, which Maliki calls a “crime of war.”
“The U.N. Security Council in New York must pass a resolution against the settlements based on international consensus with regard to their “illegal nature,” he said, adding, “This will contribute to the success of the French efforts to hold a peace conference very soon.”
He further compared the Islamic State to Israel, saying that the UNHRC’s role is now more crucial than ever at a time when extremism is drowning out the voice of human rights.
“When we can hear the sound of bullets and crimes perpetrated by ISIS [Islamic State]; and we can hear the sounds of bulldozers and the Israeli occupation while establishing illegal colonies and settlements; and we cannot hear the voices of those defending peace and human rights, then we must stop and ask: Where are human rights going?” he said.
According to Maliki, Palestinians have abided by human rights conventions, but they continue to “face systematic terrorism by Israel” which is “exercising extrajudicial killings and field executions of unarmed Palestinian civilians.”
Maliki made no reference to the current wave of Palestinian stabbings, car-rammings, shootings and axings against Israelis which has killed 33 so far. Instead, he said that over “over 180 Palestinians have died, 46 percent of them are children.”
The overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed were terrorists who either carried out attacks or attempted to carry out attacks, and according to statistics released by the Shin Bet security agency, nearly half of the attackers were under the age of 20.
Maliki continued that Israel is demolishing Palestinian homes, has exiled and arbitrarily arrested others and has refused to “return the corpses of the martyrs.”
He also accused Israel of changing history and facts, plundering natural resources and promoting racism, segregation and discrimination.
“The aspiration of our people is to live in freedom, peace and security away from occupation,” he added.
According to the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli government official said that considering the Palestinians’ track record of human rights violations – including denying basic freedoms – it takes a great deal of “chutzpah” for the Palestinians to blast Israel.
“How can things at the UNHRC get worse,” the official said, adding that the U.N. is not exactly known for being a balanced forum.
He added that even before the PA’s new standing at the UNHRC, the forum passed 60% more resolutions against Israel than all other countries put together.
“That this council will adopt biased resolutions against Israel is par for the course,” he said. “We would hope that more and more countries would stand up against the Palestinian’s cynical exploitation of human rights” for their own purposes.