The recent volatile situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was brought to the floor from the Permanent Representative of the Observer State Palestine and the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. Two recent events were the theme of the conversation. First, the recent “Nation State Law” passed by the Israeli Knesset reaffirming Israel as fully the home of Jews and abolishing Arabic as an official language of Israel. Arabic was an official language for over 70 years. This also comes after the contested US move of its headquarters to Jerusalem months prior.
The next event was the recent attacks on the Bedouins. Mr.Mansour, representing Palestine shamed Israel for a law that bluntly discriminates and is moving Israel to a state of “apartheid.” He called on representatives of experienced apartheid states, Namibia and South Africa to weigh in on the Israeli abuse of Palestinians. The South African representative echoed the universal scar of colonization in many countries and applauded Egypt’s involvement which resulted in a ceasefire. He stressed that more states need to get involved and one measure includes stopping illegal business transactions in Israeli settlements.
Also, hundreds of Palestinian children have been put in jail without a trial, as a clear human rights violation. The representative of Venezuela repeated the need to accept Palestine as a UN Permanent Member. Evidently, the unrest and lack of peace between Israel and Palestine is historic, and it will take the global community to finally decide to take feasible action to attempt to resolve this sensitive conflict.
Meeting: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People – meeting 390
Date/Location: Monday 23th July 2018; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 3, United
Nations Headquarters, New York.
Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;
H.E. Dr. Riyad H. Mansour, Ambassador of Permanent Observer of the State of
Palestine to the United Nations;
H.E. Mr. Carmelo Inguanez, Permanent Representative of Malta to the United
Written by: WIT Representative Mariam Elsaker
The Secretary-General began by saying that Palestinian frustration is growing after half a century of occupation. Changing Israeli policies and relinquishing the West Bank settlements is essential to achieving long-term peace in the region. Conditions have not significantly improved 18 months after a ceasefire. The people of Gaza face dire water and unemployment needs. Israeli and Palestinian governments now have an opportunity to bring stability to the region, but the parties must act right now to prevent the two-state solution, living peacefully side by side, from disappearing forever.
Palestine agreed and added that every day that passes means the death of more innocent civilians and more destruction of property. Since 2009, the council has failed to take any action to address this occupation. All peoples are entitled to security, not only Israelis. The situation cannot be reversed unless the UN acts in creating and enforcing a security resolution to protect the Palestinian people.
Israel shifted blame to the terrorist organizations in the region. The greatest opponent of the people of Gaza is Hamas, which turned Gaza into a staging ground for terror. Hezbollah has transformed towns into war zones, e.g. the town of Muhabib, which has 25 military sites in a town with 90 houses. Hezbollah must be disarmed and Lebanon must abide by Security Council resolution 1701. The link between Hezbollah and Hamas is Iran. Sitting down and talking is the first step to peace but Palestinians will not come to the table. Numerous terrorists have admitted to committing heinous acts to gain a lifetime stipend up to $3,500 from the Palestinian government. Resolution 229, which is an absolute ban on terrorism, does not seem to recognize the Israeli lives taken by terrorists. It is time to call on Palestinians to condemn these acts of violence.
Meeting: Security Council, 7610th Meeting
Date/Location: Thursday, January 26, 2016; 10:00-13:00; Security Council Chamber
Speakers: Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Permanent Observer to the Nation of Palestine; Permanent Observer to Israel
Written By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
Photo Credit: Abed Allah Alostaz
A panel of experts provided vital information on the critical issue of water management and sustainability in today’s NGO-led briefing. Talking about water conservation, Sharon Megdal said that we should not only discuss technological solutions but we should think about ways in which individuals and smaller organizations can conserve water. The issues of persuasion and education, she said, especially the education of youth are important. Youth are an opportunity for the future, she emphasized. She also said that cooperation between states is the way forward for the water issue.
Mr. Lipchin explained the concept of chronic water scarcity. He said that the ability to meet basic needs for water and sanitation is below 500m3/capita/year. While noting that the Middle East is a region of water scarcity, he said that Israel, Jordan and Palestine are all below this threshold. Israel has been able to meet an increasing demand for water through desalination and treatment of waste water for agricultural use. Initially the idea of using treated waste water was thought to have an impact on crop yield due to the low quality of water. However, Mr. Lipchin said that there has been an increase in crop yield. He also highlighted a challenge that Israel and its neighbors face. Almost everything in the region in terms of water is transboundary. The Arab institute is trying to address this issue cooperatively, solving not only Israel’s problems but also of its neighbors, including Palestine and Jordan.
Mr. Siegel shed light on drip irrigation, a process invented by Israel. In drip irrigation, water is dripped on the roots and the rest of the field does not get irrigated because it is of no value. 75% of all irrigated fields in Israel use it. It improves the crop yield and addresses the issues of food security, carbon footprint, water scarcity and gender issues.
Meeting Title: Every Drop of Water Makes A Difference
Speakers: Joseph Hess, JNF Vice President, Government Relations; Sharon B. Megdal, PhD., Director, Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona; Clive Lipchin, PhD., Director, Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; Seth M. Siegel, J.D., Co-founder of Beanstalk, Sixpoint Partners and Vringo, and writer on water issues.
Date: 19 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 4 (NLB), UN Headquarters New York
Written by WIT Representative: Shan Cheema
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan