Full Report: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

On March 15, 2017, the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid.” Only two days later, the Under-Secretary General of the agency, Rima Khalaf, resigned rather than withdraw the report as she had been ordered to do by the newly inaugurated UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. Indeed, the report, which concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” triggered a campaign by Israel and its allies, especially the United States, to discredit the report.

Palestine, Congress, and the White House

It is evident, just three weeks in, that Mr. Trump’s presidency is one of dramatic fluctuations, not only where Israel and Palestine are concerned, but also in regard to his other campaign promises. This month’s Special Focus: Palestine, Congress, and the White House, features nine Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS) articles* and three recent JPS Congressional Monitor reports that, together, illuminate Palestine’s status amidst these fluctuations in an historical context. Focusing on the role of various U.S. administrations, five of these articles highlight the ways that the White House often deviously navigated the tumultuous road to peace in the Middle East. Four additional articles examine how the question of Palestine is addressed in Congress. The Congressional Monitor provides a snapshot of the 113th and 114th sessions of Congress, where 211 and 178 measures pertinent to Palestine were introduced, respectively.

Palestine at the UN

Analysts, media pundits, and lobbyists often appear to have forgotten that the question of Palestine predates the establishment of the UN. Lacking in the coverage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways that the UN and its affiliate agencies have worked to redress Palestinian grievances, as well as an awareness of the many roadblocks and challenges it has thrown up to Palestinian needs and demands.

Most people in the United States are far more likely to hear accusations that the UN is an anti-Semitic organization and that the United States has betrayed Israel. Yet, as this month’s Special Focus, “Palestine at the United Nations,” reveals, Resolution 2334’s passage, and the subsequent international reactions – including a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Middle East peace – fall far short of guaranteeing basic rights, equality, and justice to the Palestinian people. Rather, the question of Palestine has been profoundly defined by UN gridlock resulting from U.S. vetoes, as well as the UN’s inability to enforce a host of resolutions that date back to 1948. Will Resolution 2334 be an exception to this trend?

Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Palestine Studies Fellow Lisa Hajjar and Stanford University Professor Joel Beinin co-authored the Middle East Research and Information Project's “Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” This comprehensive and concise survey is an excellent reference source on the history of the conflict and many of its most pertinent issues, including refugees, Jerusalem, and the Palestinian initiative at the UN.  

Pages

Subscribe to The Institute for Palestine Studies RSS