Saturday, December 16, 2017

Israel will chair United Nations legal committee after decisive vote


By Lili Martinez - June 15, 2016
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UN] [Human rights] [Occupation] [Geneva Conventions]

After a decisive vote on Monday, Israel has won the right to chair the United Nations legal committee, one of six permanent committees in the world body. The vote marks the first time Israel has been elected to lead a permanent committee since it joined the UN in 1949. The second-place winner, Sweden, garnered only 10 votes.

Israel’s role will be mainly procedural, but its margin of victory — 109 out of 175 valid votes cast — and its nomination by several countries to the position shows growing international support for “engaging” with Israel. In addition, the victory will allow it to cultivate a higher profile within the UN. Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the UN, will take the chairmanship. “I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position,” Danon said in a statement.

 

Danny Danon, new chairman of the United Nations legal comitee

Elections to the six standing committees — disarmament, economic and financial issues, human rights, decolonisation, the UN budget, and legal issues — are usually carried out by consensus and no vote is taken. In this instance, opponents to the Israeli candidacy called for a vote, hoping to avoid an Israeli win.

Israel recently transferred from the Asia-Pacific group within the U.N., which includes other Middle Eastern and Asian nations, to the Western European and Others Group. Its nomination to the legal committee came after this transfer.


ďItís a kind of joke that a country that has violated every single UN resolution [...] is now chairing a committee that has to do with the fourth Geneva Convention.

Xavier Abu Eid, chief spokesperson for the PLO, said the victory sends a clear message to the Palestinian people that the international community, and Europe especially, are not willing to take action to stop Israel from violating the law, offering rewards instead. “It’s a kind of joke that a country that has violated every single UN resolution [...] is now chairing a committee that has to do with the fourth Geneva Convention, protection of civilians, and everything that Israel has violated systematically — not as a matter of exception, but as a matter of policy,” he said to Palestine Monitor.

Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications and Media at the Prime Minister's Office and Spokesperson for the Prime Minister, said Danon’s election will be an obstacle to peace. His appointment “unmasks the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and reveals its true intentions,” he explained. “Mr. Danon has clearly said that his goal is to annex the West Bank with a minimum amount of Palestinians remaining in it.” Palestine, along with the Arab League and the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic cooperation, all opposed Israel’s election.

Abu Eid said there needs to be more international will appropriately punishing Israel for its continued violations of international law. With this vote, “Israel is not isolated — on the contrary, Israel is being engaged more and more as we enter into the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation. It sends a message that no matter what crimes Israel commits, they are going to continue to have impunity.”
 

Back to Top

Related Articles

A week of protests against Trumpís Jerusalem move
December 14, 2017

And with the swipe of a pen, Middle East peace may be dead
December 13, 2017

Creative project launches in Ramallah highlighting representations of women in revolution
December 13, 2017

Most Popular Articles

Israelís puppet war unmasks apartheid regime
The El-Hakawati theatre was colorfully adorned to host its annual International

Israel Avoids Hard-Right Shift: No Benefit for Palestinians
With many commentators predicting big wins for the settler movement in

Rushdi Tamimi becomes second victim of Israeli army in Nabi Saleh
On Tuesday November 21st, the body of 31 year old Rushdi Tamimi was

Designed & Developed by: Pixel Co