South Africa, Namibia and the Palestinian Authority are pushing to reconvene the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid so that it can end that practice by Israel against the Palestinians, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said on Thursday.
“There are serious conversations taking place right now between South Africa, Namibia and the state of Palestine to put forward a UN General Assembly resolution on re-establishing the Special Committee against Apartheid, which was initially established in 1962, and to focus on all situations,” Callamard said at the UN on Thursday.
“’We support that at Amnesty. We embrace it and we call for that special committee to be reestablished,” she said.
“We need to use all possible tools right now to bring pressure so that the systems of oppression and domination in Israel and elsewhere are disestablished.”
"We need to use all possible tools right now to bring pressure so that the systems of oppression and .domination in Israel and elsewhere are disestablished."Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard
She was speaking at a UN event in New York called, “Apartheid, International Law and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Earlier this year, Amnesty published a report that accused Israel of the crime of apartheid for its treatment of the Palestinians.
Israel has rejected that claim, arguing that those who propagate it are attempting to undermine the existence of the Jewish state.
Prior to Thursday’s event, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in New York Gilad Erdan wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking him not to allow the UN to host an apartheid event on Israel.
“The facilities of the United Nation must not be used as a platform for those that seek to delegitimize Israel – the one and only Jewish state,” Erdan said.
“By condoning, promoting and allowing a poisonous event with such an inciteful title, the United Nations sends a clear message to the world [that] it unashamedly stands behind these false narratives that not only perpetuate the conflict, but were fabricated for the sole purpose of attacking Israel,” Erdan said.
“If this event does not cross the line, then where exactly is the line drawn?”
Israel’s mission to the UN in New York, had no comment on the push to reconvene the special committee that had been created under Resolution 1761. Under the committee’s rubric, the UN worked to abolish apartheid in South Africa; those who want to reconvene the committee would like to see it similarly activated against Israel