UN rapporteur on human rights: 'Israel' treats Palestine 'as colony'
Israeli government ministers are calling on the UN human rights rapporteur to resign amid her newest findings, claiming she is "spreading hatred."
During her first visit to the UK since being appointed as UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories last year, Italian lawyer Francesca Albanese stated that "Israel" treats the Palestinian territories as colonies that belong to it.
Israeli government ministers, such as Amichai Chikli who claimed she was “spewing hatred and antisemitism”, called on her to resign as she has also been labeled as biased by Zionist groups.
Senior UN officials have been called on by Albanese's advocates to defend her position, since she has described the attacks as “intimidation, no more, no less” but says they will be as effective as “dogs barking at airplanes”.
Read more: 'Israel' walks out of UNSC Palestine session ironically citing 'bias'
Albanese told The Guardian, “For me, apartheid is a symptom and a consequence of the territorial ambitions Israel has for the land of what remains of an encircled Palestine ... The cause is the colonies. Israel is a colonial power maintaining the occupation in order to get as much land as possible for Jewish-only people. And this is what leads to the numerous violations of international law.”
She further added that if states are supposedly committed to the two-state solution, then these same states should make sure that "Israel's" conduct is actually aligned with the "possibility of having a Palestinian state." This, according to Albanese,"means sovereignty from a political, economic, cultural point of view. The right to self-determination should be the starting point."
“Member states need to stop commenting on violations here or there, or escalation of violence, since violence in the occupied Palestinian territory is cyclical, it is not something that accidentally explodes. There is only one way to fix it, and that is to make sure that Israel complies with international law.”
A first in UN history
The human rights lawyer is also scheduled to pay a visit to the Palestinian embassy in London in commemoration of the Nakba and will convene with MPs and Jewish progressive groups.
This year will mark the first time in its history that the UN is marking the Nabka formally.
She has been accused by some Israeli groups of likening the Nakba to the Holocaust, which she denied. “In as much as the Holocaust has been a defining moment in the collective life of the Jewish people, so is the Nakba, for the Palestinian people,” she said. “So I’ve not said that they are the same, simply because they are not. Why would we compare two tragedies?”
She has also denied claiming that "Israel" had no right to self-defense. “Israel has the right to defend itself, its citizens, territory, no matter the fact that it has not defined its borders, but it cannot justify the occupation in the name of self-defense or the horror it imposes on the Palestinians in the name of self-defense,” she said.
The UN general assembly has received Albanese's first report on the right of Palestinian self-determination and is currently being reviewed with a report to the human rights council on the deprivation of liberty through what she describes as the “systemic arrest of Palestinians on security and public order grounds”.
Albanese said “a tragic characteristic” of Western involvement in the region was its failure to uphold the law without double standards, especially the UK, which was a colonial power in Palestine.
“The responsibility on the UK is higher considering the historical legacy of the UK in the area,” she said. “The UK doesn’t seem to be active on this agenda, such as compliance with international law. It is about time there is a paradigm change towards the question of Palestine.”