Joint List head Ayman Odeh shouts slogans near the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
NEW YORK - The Israeli mission to the United Nations made public on Thursday a letter sent out by Chairman of the Joint List faction MK Ayman Odeh to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking him to send a fact-finding mission to Israel to investigate the country’s treatment of its Arab minority as well as land disputes in the Negev.
According to the Israeli delegation, the letter, which is dated April 21st, was sent to the Secretary-General through the Palestinian representatives at the international body, “Since the Nakba and Israel’s establishment we have been subjected to severe systematic discrimination and nationality-base oppression,” MK Odeh wrote.
“The illusion that Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to sell the Israeli public, that the conflict can somehow be ‘managed’, shatters time and again at the face of our bloody reality,” he said.
“This conflict cannot be managed but only solved. One cannot manage a people under military rule, and occupation will forever breed resistance.”
MK Odeh added that “so long as Israel occupies another people it can’t be a true egalitarian democracy.”
He also wrote about the situation in the Negev and said that 100,000 people living in villages such as al-Arakib, Umm al-Hiran and A’tir, “live without the most basic infrastructure and services.”
“On behalf of the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel and in the name of all those - Arabs and Jews alike - in Israel who support democracy and equality, I would like to ask you to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Negev to examine the dire situation of the land’s indigenous Arab population, and work to secure their rights as guaranteed by international law and conventions,” Odeh wrote to Ban Ki-Moon.
The Secretary-General’s spokesperson’s office confirmed to the Jerusalem Post that such a letter was indeed received.
The Israeli mission to the UN said that UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman sent a response to MK Odeh denying the request, through the Israeli Mission to the UN, and not via Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour.
In a letter to Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said he found Odeh move “appalling” in light of the fact that he “decided to work together with the Palestinian representative who regularly spreads Anti Semitic lies against the State of Israel.”
“A red line has been crossed,” Danon said.