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UN Watch Briefing

Issue 424

Nobel Peace Laureate Tells U.N. Council: ‘Your inquiry is wrong, your report undermines peace, stop the selectivity against Israel’

GENEVA, Mar. 18, 2013 - Nobel Peace Laureate David Trimble, member of the British House of Lords, took the floor this morning at the UN Human Rights Council—in a debate with its commission of inquiry into Israeli settlements—to deliver the following statement on behalf of the Geneva human rights group UN Watch, which also organized a UN press conference where Lord Trimble addressed the international media.

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UN Watch statement delivered by The Right Honourable Lord David Trimble, in the UN Human Rights Council debate on Israeli Settlements, 18 March 2013

Thank you, Mr. President.

On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize 15 years ago, I cited Edmund Burke. My experience in Northern Ireland underlines his insistence that every idea or proposal derives its merit from circumstance, which carries more weight than abstraction and ideology.

I am a firm believer in a two-state solution, which will require difficult compromises.

Today was Hate Israel Day at the UN—click here for full story.

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UNHRC set to debate West Bank settlement report
By Tovah Lazaroff
03/18/2013

The United Nations Human Rights Council will on Monday debate a report by its fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements, which concluded that Israel could be culpable for building over the pre-1967 lines before the International Criminal Court, if the Palestinians become party to the Rome Statute. ...

Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch, said that the fact-finding mission was a “sham.”

“Despite claims to objectivity, the resolution creating the inquiry had determined the verdictfrom the start, declaring that settlements constituted ‘very serious violations’ of Palestinians’ human rights. Fact finding was only to support this foregone conclusion,” he said.

“The report is maliciously one-sided and its conclusions extreme. Its narrative omits any reference to terrorism from Palestinian areas, making Israeli security measures appear malevolent. UN Watch’s submission on highly relevant West Bank social, economic and security matters – quoting UN and World Bank reports – was completely ignored.” More

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For an expert legal analysis of the UN settlements report by JCPA's Amb. Alan Baker,click here.

This report, however, does not help. By urging the removal of all settlers living beyond the green line, the report is inconsistent with Security Council Resolution 242, endorsed by the Council decision establishing this commission.

It could lead to the utterly grotesque consequence that the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem should be returned to the desolate condition that existed between 1948 and 1967.

The Report’s conclusions address one of the issues in a high handed and one-sided manner. It is not the necessary comprehensive agreement; nor is it part of one. It amounts to a unilateral measure of the sort opposed by the international community.

I have to say that the very idea of this inquiry is wrong. Negotiations can only be by the Israelis and the Palestinians. Others at best can play a helpful role. But outside bodies purporting to make authoritative pronouncements on major issues over the heads of the parties can only undermine and subvert the peace process.

This report abandons principles established in the Clinton Camp David talks, and applied in the Road Map and the Olmert-Abbas talks.

The United Nations and its human rights bodies should all be working with others to advance the cause of peace, not to hinder it.

I regret to say that the Council displays the same selectivity that led to the abolition of the earlier Commission. I urge you to heed the criticism by successive UN secretary-generals of this Council’s habit of singling out only one specific country, to the exclusion of virtually everything else.

Thank you, Mr. President.





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