UN Rapporteur on Palestine Calls for Economic Sanctions on Israel
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Thursday, UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine Canadian Law Professor Michael Lynk explained “the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is in a state of severe deterioration.”
“The human rights and humanitarian law violations associated with the occupation impact every aspect of life for Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”
Fifty years of illegal Israeli occupation inflicted enormous harm on millions of Palestinians. Lynk cited a UN report, saying the following:
“International law is the promise that states make to one another, and to their people, that rights will be respected, protections will be honored, agreements and obligations will be satisfied, and peace with justice will be pursued.”
“It is a tribute to the international community that it has sustained this vision of international law throughout its supervision of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory.”
“But it is no tribute that – as the occupation deepened, as the occupier’s intentions became crystal clear, and as its defiance grew – the international community recoiled from answering Israel’s splintering of the Palestinian territory and disfiguring of the laws of occupation with the robust tools that international law and diplomacy provide.”
“International law, along with the peoples of Palestine and Israel, have all suffered in the process.”
“States who administer another territory under international supervision – whether as an occupier or a mandatory power – will cross the red line into illegality if they breach their fundamental obligations as alien rulers.”
“The Special Rapporteur submits that Israel’s role as occupant has crossed this red line.”
“The challenge now facing the international community is to assess this analysis and, if accepted, to devise and employ the appropriate diplomatic and legal steps that, measure by measure, would completely and finally end the occupation.”
“A determination that Israel’s role as occupant is now illegal would serve several significant purposes.”
“First, it would encourage member states to take all reasonable steps to prevent or discourage national institutions, organizations and corporations within their jurisdiction from engaging in activities that would invest in, or sustain, the occupation.”
“Second, it would encourage national and international courts to apply the appropriate laws within their jurisdiction that would prevent or discourage cooperation with entities that invest in, or sustain, the occupation.”
“Third, it would invite the international community to review its various forms of cooperation with the occupying power as long as it continues to administer the occupation unlawfully.”
“Fourth, it would provide a solid precedent for the international community when judging other occupations of long duration.”
“Most of all, such a determination would confirm the moral importance of upholding the international rule of law when aiding the besieged and the vulnerable.”
Based on what the report quoted above states, Lynk urged imposition of economic sanctions on Israel.
“Israel is very dependent upon trade with the outside world,” he explained, adding:
“If there was an understanding that all of a sudden Israelis wanting to travel abroad needed to have visas, if all of a sudden there was an understanding that Israel wasn’t going to get preferential trading agreements with the EU.”
“If all of a sudden, the many and multitude forms of military or economic cooperation or academic cooperation with Israel were now going to come to an end…I think you’d begin to see a sea change in the attitude of ordinary Israelis and in the attitude of the Israeli government.”
Strong words from the UN report and Lynk. Much more of the same is needed, a constant drumbeat of criticism, highlighting Israel’s ruthless practices, Palestinians victimized unjustly for decades, the world community failing to act responsibly on their behalf.
Change is long overdue to hold Israel accountable for its high crimes. Imposing economic sanctions would hurt most, sending a powerful message understood by its rogue regime.
Hardline Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon blasted Lynk as expected, accusing him and the UN Human Rights Council of “obsessively attacking Israel,” diverting attention from it appalling ruthlessness.
Nikki Haley reacted as expected, blasting Lynk, saying Washington is “deeply disturbed” by his remarks, while accusing the Human Rights Council of “chronic anti-Israel bias,” adding:
“The United States will continue to oppose attempts to undermine the UN system through actions that unfairly target Israel.”
Washington and Israel partner in each other’s high crimes. One rogue state supports the other, humanity paying the price.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”