NEW YORK – Less than a month after its executive-secretary resigned over a controversial report describing Israel as an “apartheid regime,” the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia is reportedly writing another report, this time equating “50 years of Israeli occupation” to the United States’ history of slavery.The expected report will aim to establish “premises and approach for calculating the cumulative cost of the occupation,” according to a resolution passed by ESCWA last December, mandating the research. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is also said to be collaborating with ESCWA on the report.Although no publication date has been announced for the document, according to reports in Israeli media, it is expected to symbolically coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War in June.The agency’s last report caused much controversy, stating that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.” It angered Israeli officials, who compared it to Der Sturmer – a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly antisemitic.After the UN secretary-general distanced himself from it and asked that ESCWA retract it from its website, UN Under Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive-Secretary Rima Khalaf resigned. This was seen as a victory for Israel at the UN.
“The attempt by UN bodies to publish such defamatory reports are reprehensible and can be described only as a disgusting perversion of the truth,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post, “We have made it clear that we will stand strong and demand that such libelous publications not see the light of day.”In response to a request on the issue, the office of the secretary- general claimed no knowledge of said report.
UN official resigns over report dubbing Israel ‘apartheid regime’ (Reuters)