UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) report on Israel and the Occupied Territories

For undiscriminating supporters of Israel, this report will be rejected out of hand as biased and exaggerated.
In fact, this is a very sober document. For those who admit that there is human rights abuse, in the Occupied Territories, the report is very much what we already know, that institutionalised separation that is par for the course, particularly in the Occupied Territories and that the Bedouin are subjected to a forced removal.
The report has two key findings–
— “The Committee recognizes the issues related to security and stability in the region. The State party [Israel] should, however, ensure that, in conformity with the principles of the Convention, measures taken are proportionate, do not discriminate in purpose or in effect against Palestinian citizens of Israel, or Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, or any other minorities whether in Israel proper or in territories under the State party’s effective control; and that they are implemented with full respect for human rights as well as relevant principles of international humanitarian law.
— “The Committee reiterates its view that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are not only illegal under international law but are an obstacle to the enjoyment of human rights by the whole population, without distinction as to national or ethnic origin. Actions that change the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Occupied Syrian Golan are also of concern as violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
Within the 1967 borders, The Committee is also highly critical of Bedouin relocation laws, saying that they “would legalize the ongoing policy of demolitions and forced displacement of the indigenous Bedouin communities” and that “The Committee is concerned about the current situation of Bedouin communities, particularly with regard to the policy of demolitions, notably of homes and other structures, and the increasing difficulties faced by members of these communities in gaining access on a basis of equality with Jewish inhabitants to land, housing, education, employment and public health. ”
The report also comments on the need for stronger anti-discrimination laws, and “to make every effort to eradicate all forms of segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish communities”.
Larry Stillman

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