US State Department Condemns ‘Unfair Targeting’ of Israel by UN as Latest Damning Report is Published
The US State Department has condemned a new UN report that decries Israel’s continuing presence in the West Bank as “unlawful under international law” and accuses Jerusalem of “maintaining a restrictive and discriminatory planning and building regime for Palestinians.”
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the 28-page report from the ongoing “Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel” reflected the institutional bias faced by Israel at the UN.
“Israel is consistently unfairly targeted in the U.N. system, including in the course of this commission of inquiry,” Price said. “No country, the record of no country, should be immune from scrutiny, but no country should also be targeted unfairly. And that’s the principle that we seek to uphold.”
The commission — created in the wake of the May 2021 war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza — will present its report to the UN General Assembly on Oct. 27.
In a statement accompanying the report, Navi Pillay, the chair of the commission, argued that it was hypocritical for the international community to oppose Russia’s annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories while ignoring Israel’s actions.
“Unless universally applied, including to the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, this core principle of the United Nations Charter will become meaningless,” she said.
On Friday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid slammed the report as “antisemitic.”
“Not all criticism of Israel is antisemitism, but this report was written by antisemites (as Israel has already revealed) and is a distinctly antisemitic report,” Lapid said, in an apparent reference to the outburst last August by Miloon Kothari, a member of the commission, in which he claimed that “social media” was “controlled largely” by the “Jewish lobby” and that “a lot of money is being thrown in to trying to discredit us.”
The commission’s latest report charges Israel with having created an “ongoing coercive environment” that has “fragmented Palestinian society and ensured that Palestinians are unable of fulfill their right to self-determination among other rights.” Hamas missile attacks against Israel were meanwhile entirely unmentioned in the report.