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UN Envoy Calls for End of Israel By: P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 30, 2005

Although some claim Israel has scored diplomatic points with the disengagement, it doesn’t seem to have made much impression on John Dugard, the UN’s “special rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.”

In a new report that the Jerusalem Post calls “a damning indictment of Israel’s policies in the territories,” Dugard declares that: “The construction of the wall, the expansion of settlements and the de-Palestinization of Jerusalem are incompatible with the two-state solution.”

The only option left, he writes, is to do away with Israel: “Interlocutors within both Israel and the West Bank warned the special rapporteur that with the two-state solution becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, consideration should be given to the establishment of a binational Palestinian state. The demography of the region increasingly points to such an outcome.”  

The fact that Dugard’s view contradicts the formal, pro-two-state position of the Quartet, of which the UN is a member, did not prevent him from transmitting his report to the General Assembly last August and publishing it last Monday. The Israeli Foreign Ministry called the document “shocking” and said it would prepare a rebuttal.

Dugard is unimpressed by the evacuation of Gaza because it “should be seen as the decolonization of Palestinian territory. This does not affect Israeli control of the territory, which will remain.” In Dugard’s eyes, Israel gains no points for dissolving communities and withdrawing every last soldier because it “intends to delay decisions on matters such as customs, air and sea traffic, and the movement of persons and goods for an indefinite period,” and this “will further distract international attention from Israel’s territorial expansion in the West Bank.”

The dire consequence is that this “will allow Israel to complete construction of the wall, the consolidation of settlement blocks, and fundamental changes to the character of Jerusalem”—by which he means—allegedly—that Israel will secure the city’s status as the undivided Jewish capital.

With some people—indeed, with many—Israel is not going to win no matter what it does, and it should come as no surprise that John Dugard is one of them. A native South African and professor of international law at the University of the Witwatersrand in the Netherlands, Dugard first visited Israel and the territories over twenty years ago and has always seen the situation through South African lenses.

It does not interest Dugard that the Arab citizens of Israel have full rights, nor that Israel has proposed various solutions for the Arabs of the territories including an outright offer of statehood by Labor prime minister Ehud Barak and repeated espousals of Palestinian statehood by Likud prime minister Ariel Sharon. Nor is Dugard impressed that, on the ground, Israel has provided the Palestinians with their own government, arranged for them to receive billions of dollars in aid, and withdrawn all troops from their areas, returning them only when suicide bombings became an almost daily occurrence.

Instead, in “Tear Down Israel’s Wall”—an article Dugard published in the International Herald Tribune on August 2, 2003, that was appreciatively posted by Al-Jazeera—he asserted that “the wall or fence being built to separate Israel and Palestine is fast becoming the principal obstacle in the way of peace in the Middle East.” He further claimed that “what we are presently witnessing in the West Bank is a visible and clear act of territorial annexation under the guise of security”—still unconvinced, by August 2003, that there was anything genuine about Israel’s security concerns. 

On October 7, 2003, the South African Muslim site mediareviewnet.com—which openly glorifies Palestinian terrorism—honored the rapporteur with a piece called “SA Academic Dugard Slams Israel.” The author approvingly cites Dugard’s view that the “massive Wall, ostensibly built as a security measure, will fail to deter ‘suicide bombers’ because most suicide and car bombs pass into Israel through shoddy checkpoints”—even though the fence has proved highly effective against the bombers, who are very real despite the scare quotes.

The article also quotes Dugard saying that checkpoints, closures, and curfews constitute “a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza. It is not the result of a natural disaster. Instead, it is a crisis imposed by a powerful State on its neighbor.” Again, Dugard’s Israel has no valid reason for checkpoints and closures and acts only out of rapacity and sadism.

In May 2004 Dugard called for an international arms embargo of Israel over Operation Rainbow, which was launched against arms smuggling in Gaza by Hamas and other terror groups. In an interview on September 17 of that year, Dugard lamented that “there is no possibility of sanctions being imposed against Israel, at least at present. . . . Israel will, it seems, forever have the USA to veto any sanctions being imposed by the Security Council. I raised the issue simply to get it into the debate so that it is on the table.”   

Asked by the interviewer if “as a white South African who opposed apartheid . . . you ever get a feeling of déjà vu when your work is criticized by the government of Israel,” Dugard replied: “I certainly have a sense of déjà vu. The sad thing is that Israel is unwilling to learn from the South African precedent.”

By now, a year later, Dugard has had it with Israel and is ready to suggest a “solution” for it that was never contemplated for South Africa even in the worst days of apartheid—nor, for that matter, for contemporary beacons like North Korea or Sudan. For John Dugard, one Jewish state is too many—and Israel must take into account that there are many like him no matter what its policies.

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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.

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