Two British universities have cancelled lectures by international law professor Richard Falk after he co-authored a UN report which concludes that Israel is an “apartheid” regime.
Falk said Middlesex University called off his speech, citing “health and safety” concerns, while University of East London cancelled his lecture, claiming that the approval for the speech had not followed proper procedures.
“As far as I can tell, there is a growing kind of feeling that the educational establishment in Britain, specifically in England, has been kind of intimidated in dealing with those who are seen as critics of Israel,” Falk told the Middle East Eye news portal.
Falk denounced the cancellations as the “intensification” of a trend of restricting academic freedom on university campuses, warning that depriving students of delving into controversial issues restricts their experience for becoming engaged citizens.
Falk said he has experienced similar assaults on his character after serving as UN special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights from 2008 to 2014.
Since the UN report was published, the Princeton University professor has faced attacks and accusations of bias and anti-Semitism.
He dismissed such criticism as being far from reality and said that Zionist NGOs are trying to “shoot the messenger, rather than address the issues raised in the message.”
“It has been used against a variety of other people – playing the anti-Semitic card rather than dealing with the substance of Palestinian grievances or Israeli violations of international law,” Falk said.
The prominent law professor noted that supporters of Israel will be on weak grounds to discuss the realities in the occupied Palestinian territories, as Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has fallen below the level of acceptable moral behavior and international legal standards.
Falk’s co-authored report, which was reviewed by three “internationally renowned” jurists before it was published, was withdrawn from the UN website after prompting international uproar.
It documents “apartheid” patterns of discrimination that fragment Palestinian society through “distinct laws, policies and practices.”
“It appears to be an instance where the new UN Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres] gave way to pressure coming particularly from Washington, but also from Israel,” Falk said.
Last week, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary for UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Rima Khalaf resigned in protest after Guterres ordered the study to be removed from the UN website.
Falk said the controversy over the report gave it an international visibility that it may not have enjoyed had it been just “one more UN report.”
TULKAREM – Israeli forces raided and sacked two Palestinian print shops in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem at dawn on Thursday and confiscated equipment.
Ali Abu Saleh, the owner of the two print shops, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops raided his home in the Shweika neighborhood and demanded that he let them access his stores.
Abu Saleh said that Israeli soldiers searched his shop in the Shweika area, where they confiscated equipment, printed materials, and destroyed security camera footage.
Israeli forces also raided Abu Saleh’s other print shop in central Tulkarem, breaking the front door and also confiscating equipment and materials.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had raided the shops because they printed “inciting material.”
However, Abu Saleh rejected the army’s claims, calling them baseless, adding that 20 people were out of work following the raids.
Israeli forces had also aided another Tulkarem print shop earlier this month.
Israeli forces have previously targeted printing shops where posters commemorating Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were manufactured.
Since the beginning of the year, one Palestinian from Tulkarem was killed and another from the city succumbed to fatal injuries, after being shot by Israeli forces for allegedly attempting to commit attacks.
In the past year, Israel has targeted Palestinian media institutions and civilians, including activists and journalists, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015 was encouraged largely by “incitement.”..
There’s something to be said for an informed electorate, although it really shouldn’t be elected officials advocating for it. They’d benefit least from people knowing more about sausage and the making thereof. And legislators definitely shouldn’t be robbing the First Amendment to pay for better information, as a few California lawmakers are attempting to do.
A new bill, pointed out by the EFF’s Dave Maass, seems to be a response of sorts to “fake news” and other political detritus of this highly-partisan system. Ostensibly, the bill is aimed at keeping voters from being misled on issues that affect them. The problem is, this bill would allow the government to determine what is or isn’t misleading and apply to a citizen’s social media posts, blog, etc.
California’s existing “political cyberfraud” law (yes, really) already contains wording that forbids cybersquatting, misleading redirects, and otherwise tricking internet users who are seeking information on ballot measures. The existing law is more concerned with acts along the lines of false impersonation and deliberate fraud. The amendment, however, isn’t. It adds a couple of new aspects, both making the bad law worse.
First, the law would no longer be limited to “cyberfraud” related to pending ballot measures. It would expand to protect political candidates from being bested by wily web denizens. Where it really goes downhill is this new clause, which criminalizes even more speech.
Section 18320.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following:
(a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election.
(b) Any candidate for election to public office.
With this law, opinions and misinterpretations of ballot measures/candidates’ political stances are now illegal acts. The law goes further than simply punishing the writer of false statements. It also aims to punish publishers (which could be read as punishing hosts who would normally be protected by Section 230) and anyone who shares the newly-illegal content. If anything in the original post hints of political leaning, it can be construed as “designed to influence the vote,” which would make most heated political discussions a breeding ground for criminal communications.
It would seem the “victims” listed in the proposed amendment aren’t really in need of a free speech-abusing law. If California’s government doesn’t like the tone of online posts about ballot measures, it has plenty of opportunities (and numerous platforms) to set the record straight. Worse, it gives the government the power to shut down speech it doesn’t agree with under the pretense preventing voters from being misled.
As for political candidates, they rarely suffer the problem of having too little speech. Bullshit can be countered with more speech, a rhetorical weapon everyone has access to, but political candidates in particular tend to be especially well-equipped in this department.
How the original law managed to survive a constitutional challenge remains a mystery. This addition has zero chance of being found constitutional if it somehow manages to become law.
Palestinian legislator Mohammed al-Tal seized by Israeli forces; Samira Halaiqa indicted by military court
The number of imprisoned Palestinian Legislative Council members climbed to 11 on Tuesday, 21 March after a pre-dawn raid by Israeli occupation forces seized PLC member Mohammed al-Tal from al-Khalil, along with 19 more Palestinians. Al-Tal has previously spent 11 years in Israeli prisons, half of those in administrative detention without charge or trial.
Also on Tuesday, 21 March, an Israeli occupation military court at Ofer submitted an indictment against PLC member Samira Halaiqa, 53, from al-Khalil, accusing her of participating in political and social activities and engaging in “incitement” for making political posts on Facebook. Halaiqa was seized on 9 March by occupation forces who invaded her home. She, along with her husband Mohammed Halaiqa, had previously been imprisoned for one year in 2006 under administrative detention, following her election to the PLC.
Both Halaiqa and al-Tal are part of the Change and Reform bloc, the PLC bloc associated with Hamas.
The 11 detained PLC members include: Khaled Tafesh and Anwar Zboun, both from the Bethlehem area, members of the Change and Reform bloc, seized on Monday, 6 March. Zboun spent over six years in Israeli prison, including several months in administrative detention in 2014. Tafesh, a former deportee to Marj al-Zohour, was also previously held in administrative detention in 2014. Tafesh, Zboun, Halaiqa and al-Tal were all arrested in the month of March.
Other detained PLC members include Hassan Yousef and Ahmad Mubarak of Ramallah and Azzam Salhab and Mohammed Jamal Natsheh of al-Khalil. All members of the Change and Reform bloc, they are held in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat, is serving a 30-year sentence in Israeli prison, while Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi is serving several life sentences. Jerusalemite PLC member of the Change and Reform bloc, Mohammed Abu Teir, was subject to expulsion from his home city of Jerusalem and is now serving a 17-month sentence in Israeli prison.
Facebook has expanded the roll-out of its fact-checker tool to combat ‘fake news’ as more users report the appearance of the ‘disputed’ message alert. The pop-up lets users know when a story’s accuracy is questionable before they share it.
Users in regions including the US have reported seeing the warning, advising them that “before you share this content, you might want to know that the fact-checking sites, Snopes.com and Associated Press disputed its accuracy.”
The alert then allows the user to share the story or cancel.
The tool is not yet in operation in all regions, with the UK, Ireland and Australia among countries so far known not to be seeing the alert when tested against a story known in some regions of the US to display the alert.
The alert first appeared earlier this month, when users reported a ‘disputed’ news tag appearing on stories deemed false by the organizations employed by Facebook to fact check.
Associated Press (AP), one of the fact checkers partnered with Facebook, published details last week on why a story on the alleged Irish slave trade was false. The story it’s based on is prompting the ‘disputed’ alert when users attempt to share it on Facebook.
Facebook announced the plan to crack down on ‘fake news’ last December, following unproven claims it contributed to the US presidential election result by providing a vehicle for questionable news sources.
The tech giant partnered with fact checkers including ABC News, FactCheck.org, AP, Snopes and Politifact as part of the plan.
corbettreport | July 5, 2013
Michael Hastings was that rarest of breeds: a mainstream reporter who wasn’t afraid to rail against the system, kick back against the establishment, and bite the hand that feeds him. On the morning of June 18, 2013, he died in a fiery car crash. But now details are emerging that he was on the verge of breaking an important new story about the CIA, and believed he was being investigated by the FBI. Now even a former counter-terrorism czar is admitting Hastings’ car may have been cyber-hijacked. Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore the strange details surrounding the untimely death of Michael Hastings.
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7636
Geo-politics in this bold new 21st century world is anything but boring. Just look at the headlines and you’ll agree, 1970s tabloids were real news compared to today’s sensationalist propaganda. One shining example from America’s capital, the Washington Post has become a barometer for truth – but not in the way you might think. Here’s some curious observances of the once venerable newspaper a billionaire technocrat bought for a purpose.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos does not like Donald Trump one little bit. One gander at the front page of his Washington Post tells us that anything “Trump” is bad. The same newspaper that spilled the beans about Richard Nixon’s Watergate mess, it’s now gone over to the dark side with recent front page stories on; Congressional Republicans criticizing Trump’s budget, Sean Spicer’s “angry” defense of the wiretapping claim, Trump and his team blabbing, White House dumping 30,000 FAA workers, Trump picking a “deeply disturbing” hero, Trump’s budget being “utterly unrealistic”, how Republicans plan on hurting American families, and you’ve got the picture on the rest. Bezos’ bullhorn is over the top.
The good “news” is that discerning analysts, researchers, and interested citizens can use the Washington Post’s propaganda for good, by applying some reverse psychology. Or to simplify, if Bezos is against it, then it must be good. Yes, the Washington Post tabloid can point us to the truth! But everyone knows by now the WP is so-called “Fake News”, but few know the ins and outs.
Bezos: The Globalist Minion
Back in the 1980’s Jeff Bezos was a relative nobody. The “legend of Bezos” tells us the science wiz from Princeton went to Wall Street to work the hedge fund company D. E. Shaw & Co. for a few years. Then all-of-a-sudden the soon to be Amazon legend decides to load up his car like the Beverly Hillbillies and head to Seattle. The story goes, he supposedly wrote up the Amazon business plan along the way – and it’s a full American bit of malarkey in my book. Then all of a sudden (as American legends go) “BAM”, in rapid succession he founds Amazon, snags $8 million in series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1995. And gets a boat load of fame for basically regurgitating what Sears & Roebuck did in the 1800#s – and nothing more. That’s right, there was no innovation or engineering involved – Amazon is a digital mail-order catalog clone. While Amazon and eBay were the early lead in substantial online commercialism, I submit Bezos and Co. were propped up. Here’s some clues.
The digital advertising gurus say Bezos’ company survived the dot-com bust because of his brilliant business planning. But this is simply not the case. When Amazon started selling books online, huge brick and mortar interests like Books-A-Million, Inc. and Barnes & Noble rapidly followed suit. While the latter two book behemoths suffered share price disasters when the bubble burst, Amazon’s stock also fell from $107 to $7 per share. Then something interesting happend. AOL Time Warner bailed Bezos out with $100 million dollars in capital. The trail of fascinating “coincidences” in between Amazon, AOL and Time Warner – intersect with momentous occasions like the one in Tiananmen Square when AOL’s Stephen M. Case and Warner’s Gerald M. Levin met at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (strangely) in 1999. Even though the AOL-Time Warner deal proved to be the biggest merger flop in history, the investment in Amazon puzzled many even back then.
Faye Landes, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company at the time, questioned Bezos’ explanation for revenue shortfalls just prior to the deal. And she was not alone. Amazon was not a real growth and earnings business back then – and the company does not really make that much even today. Compared to other tech giants, Amazon makes peanuts per share these days. Amazon is one giant “equity bubble”, or a kind of mirror of the Federal Reserve under Barack Obama and his predecessors. And in a way the Washington Post is one pixel of an overall game of economics smoke and mirrors. Hundreds of billions of dollars are flowing through entities large and small in America, and only the very rich seem to be getting richer. This is another story though. The Bezos “puzzle” – the geo-policy of globalism – how technocracy entered into the world sweepstakes is where the Texas billionaire is interesting. To understand Bezos’ role in the globalist doctrine, we have to follow the trail of money that made his company successful. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which also funded AOL early on, has its fingers in just about every big pie worth eating in the digital space. It should also come as no surprise that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is a partner; as are former Vice President Al Gore, and Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla (see more political alliances here). Put mildly, the technocrats like Bezos are in thick as thieves with the globalist perpetrators on the world stage. From Powell and Tony Blair, to Michael Bloomberg (see Bloom Energy) and KPCB’s L. John Doerr (Obama’s economic recovery advisor), Bezos has plenty of miraculously powerful cohorts in his anti-Trump war.
The Real Evil Geniuses Behind
While Bezos is the subject of my report today, John Doerr is an even more critical figure to take stock of. Back in 2008 he and Steve Jobs announced the Kleiner Perkins $100 million iFund along with a prophetic statement: Doerr declared that the iPhone was “more important than the personal computer” because “it knows who you are” and “where you are.” This fund is the largest single investment in cell phone application history. Given the recent WikiLeaks Vault 7 revelations on the CIA, the fact Doerr and these others are so wired into mobile is significant. Doerr also serves on the board of Google, the company most often accused of collusion with the NSA and CIA in spying on everyone.
If we can grasp that there are two sides in the ideological battle for the world going on, then revealing Jeff Bezos and the other technocrats on the new globalist order side is simplified. The Washington Post, or even Bloomberg’s media for instance, hammer each day to try and forge an alternative reality for people. Take the assertion that Russia and Vladimir Putin were influential in Trump’s victory. The WikiLeaks releases about CIA espionage with the 2012 French elections shows us my “reverse psychology” theory in practice. Russia is blamed, when all along the United States’ administration is the one doing the tampering. And who is fundamental in the technologies and infrastructure necessary for complete surveillance? The technocrats, of course. But the game is big. It’s “huge”, as President Trump would exclaim. And as for those like Bezos, they were not innovators at all – only willing soldiers in a much larger scheme where profit for Amazon was not the goal. Amazon, you see, is a mechanism. If I had to bet, I’d say Amazon serves as a distribution hub, a data collection point, and as a money moving apparatus to assist in expanding the globalist control capability. Washington Post is the company blog, so to speak, spitting out contravening messages to distract and leverage. Just play “what if” for a brief moment. What if all those smart TVs Amazon ship came pre-loaded with CIA malware or spying apparatus? What if agents did not have to physically install malware on targeted devices? Again, I got your attention. I quote from WikiLeaks
“The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.”
If I may, since the world of media and news now operates on theory, conjecture, and opinion, then perhaps I may have license to speculate further on Bezos’ rise to wealth and fame. Looking at his past and his associations, it’s fair to suggest Bezos is not the genius behind Amazon’s success. If I had to bet real money, I’d say his boss at D. E. Shaw & Co., computer genius and Hillary Clinton campaign funder David Elliot Shaw is. I’d presuppose that Bezos did not just take off for Seattle in the mid-90s, but that Shaw sent him. Without delving deeply into who Shaw is, the reader should know he is the most successful and enigmatic hedge fund billionaire of all. He advised Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and is a key mover and shaker in the business of supercomputers and molecular dynamics.
After reading this some will ask the question; “How does this relate to world détente and policy?” Well, the answer is pointedly obvious – policy is about business these days. You read about Angela Merkel travelling to Washington to meet President Trump. This is not about saving the world for the people, you must realize. The meetup is so that Germany can continue to lead a European Union entity powered by banking and corporate interest. We can no longer be fooled into thinking the new world order (NOW) is some crazy conspiracy theory. Why the likes of Bezos, George Soros, even politicians admit that the “globalist” mission is endangered by Trump! The Washington Post fake news, installed billionaires, the genius Big Brothers standing behind – they are the reality. We have to start to think independently of their advertising – and make no mistake – the ads are aimed at fleecing you.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe.
Is this what parents pay $63,000 annually for tuition, room, board and fees – so their children can be ill-served and ill-taught?
Following the 2014 Obama administration Kiev coup, replacing democracy with fascist dictatorship, Harvard expressed concern about nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Some faculty members called for US military intervention.
Not a word about US-supported putschists seizing power. Nothing about the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.
No explanation about a scheme orchestrated in Washington. Silence about a major crisis in Europe’s heartland still ongoing. Trump inherited Obama’s mess, so far not indicating clearly where he stands on Ukraine.
Harvard is at it again. It’s University Library published a fake guide to “fake news, misinformation, and propaganda.”
It recommends using FactCheck.org, Politifact, Snopes.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, and other self-styled fact-checkers, biased against truth-telling on all major issues, acting as censors, trashing reliable alternative sources of news, information and analysis.
It endorses sanitized content acceptable to America’s deep state, abandoning support for speech, media and academic freedoms.
It recommended “tips for analyzing news sources.” Ignore them. Common sense is the best guide, along with distrusting and avoiding media scoundrels. They’re paid to lie, deceive and feature fake news – what powerful interests want people to know, what’s most important suppressed.
Harvard published a list of hundreds of sites it calls “bias(ed),” “conspira(torial),” “unreliable,” “fake,” and otherwise mislabeled.
Some I’m familiar with are reliable sources, (polar opposite media scoundrels paid to lie), including:
21st Century Wire
Before Its News.com
Black Agenda Report
Boiling Frogs Post
David Stockman Contracorner
The Greanville Post
Information Clearing House
Mint Press News
Moon of Alabama
Paul Craig Roberts
Ron Paul Institute
SJLendman.blogspot.com – my alma mater recommends avoiding my writing; new articles posted daily; featuring truth-telling on major issues
The People’s Voice
The Sleuth Journal
Third World Traveler
What Really Happened
Who What Why
These and other sites Harvard’s Library urges avoiding are ones readers should rely on – avoiding The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other fake news proliferators.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for a crackdown on those who would blaspheme against Islam on social media, and claims to have contacted Facebook and Twitter to ask for their help in suppressing online sacrilege.
“All relevant institutions must unite to hunt those who spread such material and to award them strict punishment under the law,” Sharif said.
Minister of the Interior Ministry (MoI) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that an official from Pakistan’s embassy in Washington, DC, was dispatched to Facebook and Twitter, asking them to help identify Pakistanis both at home or abroad who have insulted Islam.
He went on to say Pakistan would seek to extradite any Pakistanis living abroad if they were accused of blasphemy so they could be tried in an Islamic court.
Facebook, at least, has answered the call and will send a delegation to Pakistan to help them fight blasphemy, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry. Facebook told the MoI that they were “aware” of Pakistan’s concerns, and wanted to reach a mutual understanding with the Islamic Republic.
Facebook told the Associated Press that it seriously considers requests from governments, but its ultimate goal is to “protect the privacy and rights of our users.”
“We disclose information about accounts solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law,” continued Facebook.
Pakistan already extensively censors online content that depicts blasphemy, pornography, suicide and other things deemed objectionable. YouTube was blocked in the South Asian nation from 2012 to 2016, until it agreed to assist the government in censoring their content.
Facebook itself was blocked for a short period of time in 2010 due to it being the platform of choice for many artists participating in “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. Some sites, such as Reddit and Imgur, remain banned.
Pakistan has some of the world’s strictest blasphemy laws. “Outraging the religious feelings of Muslims” carries a three year prison sentence as well as fines. Defiling a Quran is life in prison. Speaking ill of Mohammed is punishable by death.
Human Rights Watch claims that from 1987 to 2014, more than 1,300 Pakistanis have been accused of blasphemy and more than 60 of the accused have died in extrajudicial killings.
From the Jewish press we learn that Britain’s House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has summoned executives from Google, Twitter and Facebook for a hearing in order to slam the social media giants for failing to block ‘hate speech’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ content from their platforms. It seems that Labour MP Yvette Cooper took issue with the refusal of YouTube to remove a video in which David Duke accused Jewish people of “organizing white genocide” and Zionists of conducting ethnic cleansing.
I’m left wondering, what it is that motivates British MPs to launch a war against freedom of speech?
Can MP Yvette Cooper or any other British MP for that matter, tell us, once and for all, what exactly are the boundaries of our freedom of expression? Is calling Israel an ethnic cleanser a crime in the UK? But what if Israel is an ethnic cleanser? Is truth not a valid legal defence in modern Britain?
Astonishingly, it was, of all people, Stephen Pollard, Britain’s arch-Zionist and editor of the Jewish Chronicle who stood up for Duke’s elementary freedoms. In The Telegraph Pollard wrote. “It’s clear that the video is indeed antisemitic. In it, Mr Duke says: ‘The Zionists have already ethnically cleansed the Palestinians, why not do the same thing to Europeans and Americans as well? No group on earth fights harder for its interests than do the Jews. By dividing a society they can weaken it and control it.’ So there’s no debate that this is Jew hate in all its traditional poison.”
Is it really hateful to admit that Zionists ethnically cleansed Palestine? By now, this is an established historical fact that is sustained by current Israeli Law of Return, designed to prevent ethnically cleansed Palestinians from coming back to their land. Is it really hateful to suggest, as does David Duke that “no group on earth fights harder for its interests than do the Jews.” In fact, Yvette Cooper’s grilling of the Google CEO on behalf of the Labour Friends of Israel only confirms Duke’s observation.
I’m left wondering whether George Orwell was, in fact, the last of the prophets. After all, he did foresee British Labour transitioning into a tyrannical institution.
Yet, later on in his piece, Pollard, takes an unexpected turn. He clearly accepts that interfering with elementary freedom is a dangerous development: “Had the video told viewers that their duty was to seek out Jews and attack them – as many posts on social media do – then clearly it should be banned. Incitement to violence is an obvious breach of any coherent set of standards.” Pollard then concludes that “banning views simply because many, or even most, people find them abhorrent is a form of mob rule dressed up in civilised clothes.”
I find myself in complete agreement with this ultra-Zionist: “mob rule dressed up in civilised clothes” is a poetic, yet still truthful, description of current progressive populism. Incitement to violence should obviously be strictly banned, but if we wish to maintain Western ‘values’ then surely open debate in our system must be sustained. If Yvette Cooper doesn’t agree with Duke, she should invite him to the House of Commons and challenge him to debate rather than using her political power to silence him, or anyone else.
But one question remains. What led Yvette Cooper to operate so openly in the service of one particular Lobby group. I guess that veteran Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky may have an answer to offer…
UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf speaks in Beirut, Lebanon, on 17 March 2017. [Muhammed Ali Akman/Anadolu Agency]
The head of the United Nation’s West Asia commission resigned today after what she described as pressure from the secretary-general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge.
UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf announced her resignation at a news conference in Beirut.
UN chief Antonio Guterres accepted the resignation, a UN spokesman said.
“This is not about content, this is about process,” said Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
“The secretary-general cannot accept that an under-secretary-general or any other senior UN official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the UN name, under the UN logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself,” he told reporters.
A German newspaper was forced to remove the name of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a list of the world’s craziest leaders following diplomatic pressure.
Hamburger Morgenpost had included Netanyahu in a list of “The Seven Craziest Leaders in the World” because he promotes settlement policies and because he tried to convince former US
President Barack Obama to attack Iran.
As a result, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a complaint to the German government and the Israeli embassy in Berlin criticised the newspaper and said in a statement that this is an “anti-Semitic” act.
“The fact that they put an elected prime minister of a democratic Western country… alongside some of the worst dictators in the world, reveals more than anything the newspaper’s level of understanding of what is happening today in the world,” the embassy said in a statement, according to Israel’s Ynet News.
The newspaper was then forced to remove Netanyahu from the list and apologised for including him.
“It was wrong to make @netanyahu part of this list. We apologise,” the newspaper announced.