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March 16, 2017 2:05 pm

Top US Jewish Groups Slam UN Report Accusing Israel of ‘Apartheid Regime’ Over Palestinian People

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

The UNESCWA headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Top US Jewish groups have issued strong condemnations of a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday, which accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

“This latest outrage perpetrated against Israel by a UN body must not be allowed to stand,” Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein stated.

Greenberg and Hoenlein called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “unambiguously reject the ESCWA report and undertake to prevent similar unwarranted attacks in the future.”

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer called the report — authored by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley — “a sad attempt to reinstate the infamous 1975 UN resolution that considered Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination” and said UN leaders and member states should “dissociate themselves from this report and to condemn it for what it is: a piece of vile anti-Israel propaganda that has not basis in fact.”

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The authors of the report, Singer went on to note, “seem to live in a parallel universe. They don’t care about facts when these don’t fit into their one-sided narrative. It is sad to witness how time and again the United Nations is being hijacked by people whose agenda it is to deny the Jewish people’s right to a democratic and free state in its ancient homeland, Israel.”

A B’nai B’rith International statement said, “The apartheid charge is a ludicrous canard. These relentless antisemitic and anti-Israel accusations from the United Nations must end.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “Rather than provide constructive analysis about Israeli policy in the West Bank, this report is rife with outrageous accusations of criminality and apartheid practices and reflects the biased agenda of the authors. This report does not meet any reasonable standard of judiciousness or constructive analysis about Israeli policy or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Immediately after the report was published, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed it, saying, “That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising. That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising.”

“The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world,” she continued.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon stated, “The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”

A UN spokesman clarified on Wednesday that the publication of the report was not coordinated with the UN Secretariat.

“The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general,” Stephane Dujarric said.

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