Head of Jewish NGO Banned From United Nations: Ability of Palestinians to Control UN Offices is “Shocking”
by Algemeiner Staff
Breitbart.com reported earlier today that the UN Division for Palestinian Rights sent a letter to the UN pass office yesterday asking it to withdraw passes that were issued to the UN-accredited Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.
The passes had already been printed and handed to 23 Jewish young adults who were part of an educational program associated with the Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni community. After receiving the Palestinian branch’s demand, UN security officials insisted on their return. Breitbart.com writes, “The Jewish group had requested passes for November 29, 2012 to attend separate events: the ‘UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’ in the morning and the General Assembly debate on ‘The Question of Palestine’ which commences at 3 p.m. in the afternoon.”
“The successful ability of the UN Division for Palestinian Rights to control the UN security and pass offices and NGO office is shocking. It is incredible that we were given passes and then ordered to return them because UN Palestinian secretariat officials specifically objected to our presence. It is unbelievable that the Palestinian secretariat can effectively bar access to the General Assembly while packing the Hall with a hundred hand-picked anti-Israel groups and individuals. This is the real face of apartheid Palestine,” said Anne Bayefsky, director of The Touro Institute in an email to The Algemeiner.
In a letter, the DPR claimed that the NGO had “bypassed” the Division registration process, which in fact was false. The Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni completed individual registration forms and submitted them, and were sent letters of acceptance.
Breitbart.com writes: “The DPR claimed that the NGO ‘is not accredited to the Palestinian Rights Committee and has not received an invitation to attend the morning meeting.’ In light of the fact that the meeting is advertised on the UN website itself as open to all NGOs, a lack of accreditation by this particular committee or special directed invitation was never a condition of attendance.”
When confronted with the fact that the letter was public knowledge it claimed that the NGO “has proved disruptive and negative in the past.”
“We actually have the hard-evidence of exactly why they kept us out – the letter from the Director of the Division for Palestinian Rights to the NGO and security-pass offices. We were deemed “disruptive and negative” by the UN Division for Palestinian Rights which has spent more than three decades demonizing Israel and attempting to destroy through lethal politics the Jewish state,” Bayefsky said.
“They want to pretend that the outburst of wildly enthusiastic applause – which can be expected from the General Assembly Hall after the vote to upgrade the status of “Palestine” – is spontaneous and universal. The question is whether the foreign media will buy it,” she added.
She also says that thus far requests for a reversal of the decision have proved fruitless.”We have been kept out. We have reached out to the U.S. UN mission as we are an American accredited NGO, and they said they would look into it; the morning meeting is almost finished, this afternoon is just hours away and we have heard nothing back.”
United Nations Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary General Farhan Haq, who currently covers matters relating to the Middle East did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.
UPDATE: Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary General Farhan Haq sent the following comment to The Algemeiner denying that members of the Jewish NGO were banned: “UN security did not bar invited guests from a UN meeting. This was a meeting of the Palestinian Rights Committee and NGOs accredited with the Committee have priority access, especially when the room is filled to capacity. As for the NGO that said they were not able to attend, we have checked and that group did not register to attend.”