NEW YORK – The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday urged the UN to immediately recall a UN agency’s “hostile and biased” that accuses Israel of being an “apartheid regime.”
The 74-page document, published by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday, points a finger at Israel for racial discrimination toward Palestinians.
“Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” the report states.
This was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge, angering Israeli officials who compared the report to the Third Reich’s wildly antisemitic Der Sturmer newspaper.
“Rather than provide constructive analysis about Israeli policy in the West Bank, this report is rife with outrageous accusations of criminality and apartheid practices, and reflects the biased agenda of the authors,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Thursday. “This report does not meet any reasonable standard of judiciousness or constructive analysis about Israeli policy or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The ADL praised the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for distancing itself from the report.
A spokesman for the UN chief said on Wednesday that the report was released without any consultation with the United Nations Secretariat, and that as it stands, it does not reflect the views of the secretary- general.
Both Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and his US counterpart, Nikki Haley, had called on the secretary-general to make this clear.
ESCWA, headquartered in Beirut, is composed of 18 Arab states in Western Asia and aims to support economic and social development in member states, according to its website. The report was prepared at the request of member states.