An opinion piece by: Ahmed Abu Artema
As of last Tuesday, the General Assembly elected a new president for its next 77th session, which will being next September.
The General Assembly also elected 16 vice-presidents in the same session in addition to five permanent members, bringing the number to 21 vice-presidents.
Among the elected representatives is the permanent representative of the colonial state of Israel, Gilad Erdan, representing the group of Western European countries.
and while this position does not have wide executive powers, especially in light of the presence of 21 other deputies, it does include honorary weight to the diplomatic balance of the countries that do receive it.
Israel constantly seeks to increase its representation in international forums to enhance its attempts in becoming a ‘normal’ state that belongs to the world, but the goal of these attempts contradicts the very nature of this colonial state and the means by which it was found. That being through the practice of ethnic cleansing and displacement of an entire nation through massacres and racial discrimination violating the very codes of the international laws.
It is truly ironic that the elected Israeli MP Gilad Erdan is the same person who stood on the podium of the General Assembly on October 29, 2021, and tore up the United Nations report on human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories
This was because that report rightfully condemned Israel for violations against the Palestinians, and Erdan said in that speech, commenting on tearing up the resolution
Erden expressed his rage at the council for blaming 95 times for condemning the inhumane conduct Israel imposed on Palestinians, and compared it with the number of similar conduct
The Israeli representative did not frankly ask himself, what were the acts committed by Israel that called for all these repeated condemnations of the Human Rights Council, but rather attacked the reports that document these acts as a kneejerk response!
This is the deep-rooted dilemma in Israel’s transactions with the international community: On the one hand, it is impunitive to the international laws and all human rights principles as it attacks all international resolutions that do not agree with its whims under false claims of antisemitism.
On the other hand, Israel wants to enjoy the privileges of the international community and to gain its recognition and later the legitimacy that enables it to serve its political and economic interests.
It is natural for a colonial country to think in this immoral, hypocritical, and utilitarian way, but what is outrageous is that the international community enables it to do so.
the UN is not in any way affected by any moral sensitivity in linking the opportunities it gives it to its record in dealing with human rights.
This choice of Gilad Erdan comes only one month after Israel’s crime of killing Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh and then attacking the coffin that held her body while suppressing the participants in her funeral, a crime that the world watched live, although not, of course, the first or last crime committed by it.
The message that Israel gets from its massive ability to acquire such prestigious positions, and relations in the international community is that the world rewards it for its racist colonial policies and that there is no real reciprocation for its bloody record of egregious violations of human rights.
We must not forget that Israel is not a normal state at all, even according to the principles of the United Nations itself.
The United Nations resolutions stipulate the return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes in 1948, and granted the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people, which Israel still refuses.
Indeed, Israel legislates racist laws granting accommodations to its Jewish citizens and its Jewish demographic only, while practicing racial discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population.
Many international organizations such as ESCWA, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have confirmed in detailed and successive reports that Israel indeed practices racial discrimination. This means that support for this state is actual support for a system of racial discrimination practiced now in the 21st century.
Israel’s success in assuming this new position at the United Nations represents a failure of the official Palestinian Authority diplomacy and the failure of this official diplomacy to confront Israel in international forums.
It also represents the absence of the international community’s seriousness in punishing Israel and holding it accountable for its violations.
Israel is still far from being held accountable for its crimes, but rather is offered privileges and new spaces for it. We must expect the prolonged period of its occupation, racism, and crimes as Israel functions as judge, jury, and jailor not only in the Palestinian landscape but also in so-called human rights forums.
Ahmed Abu Artema is a Palestinian journalist, writer, and activities in Act for Palestine association