By Rob Harris
Recently a United Nations entity, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), awarded official UN accreditation to an NGO called the Perdana Global Peace Foundation. The NGO is led by its founder, Mahathir Mohamad, a former Malaysian prime-minister known for his overtly anti-Semitic views. CEIRPP Chairman Abdu Salam Diallo wished to “thank him and congratulate him for everything he has done in his political career and for the Palestinian people”.
In 2003 Mahathir Mohamad became rather infamous for his anti-Semitic views, after he attacked Israel and the Jewish People in an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) speech, which was criticised internationally. He stated:
…today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them… They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others.
Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had been confined in ghettos and periodically massacred… Even after their massacre by the Nazis in Germany, they survived to be a source of even greater problems to the world.
Unfortunately the media rarely challenge the CEIRPP’s activities. Slanted coverage of the Mohamad story by the Times of Israel gives credence to the CEIRPP’s claim that they seek a lasting two-state solution:
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, whose objective is “two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders,”…
The assertion is presented as fact, which is only countered by the quoted opinions of others, without the citation of opposing factual claims. However, it is quite evident that the CEIRPP seeks the nullification of Israel’s Jewish status by proposed demographic methods. To quote an annex of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 35/169:
69. The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967. The Committee recommends that:
(a) While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property…
Thus, if there is any truth to the CEIRPP’s assertions, the only two-state solution they advocate would be two Palestine’s, where one is Israel in name only, its populace subsumed by Muslim-Arab migration. Such a stance has long been advocated by Arab-Palestinian leaders, and many groups hostile to Israel.
The CEIRPP has for many years organised conferences devoted to Israeli occupation “from 1948 onward” — 1948 being the very point of Israel’s creation. Clearly they do not recognise Israel’s right to exist in any meaningful sense.
An instrument of the UN’s belligerence against Israel
The United Nation’s decades-long animosity toward Israel has become the stuff of legend. Indeed, Kofi Annan admitted in 2006:
On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies.
Unfortunately such admissions have done nothing to alter the UN’s prejudicial policy toward Israel, a cruel irony given the fact that the UN’s creation was given some impetus as a consequence of the Holocaust.
There are numerous examples of direct and indirect UN agency involvement in Israel’s demonisation, e.g. in 2012 Palestinian Media Watch discovered that a UN funded Arab-Palestinian community centre was putting on a puppet show in Jerusalem that suggested children shouldn’t smoke cigarettes. Instead they should clutch machine guns to kill Jews.
The UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) is a principle source of anti-Israel NGO funding, although for the most part the organisation has not issued details of its funding network publicly.
An ADL report in 2009 noted that substantial annual funds allocated to the CEIRPP by the UN have enabled it to become “a primary vehicle for Israeli demonization” and represents “the only committee in the UN devoted to a speciﬁc people.”
The CEIRPP is a central element of the UN’s policy toward Israel. Its unique status, dedicated to a specific people is redolent of the UNHRC’s permanent anti-Israel agenda at its meetings, treatment that is not afforded to other states. UNRWA is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a specific people, the Palestinians. In contrast to UNHCR, the general UN refugee agency, UNRWA has been shown to systematically radicalise those in its care, perpetuating their refugee status instead of resolving it through integration and resettlement.
There are eleven primary committees that serve the United Nations General Assembly. The CEIRPP is one of these eleven, oddly placed among other committees performing very generalised roles within the UN or dealing with generalised subject areas, such as outer space and atomic energy. There is a separate category of seven explicitly specific “ad-hoc” committees, of which the UNRWA is one. Again it is the only entity of this group dedicated to a specific people. Finally there are four “special” and three “advisory” committees, where again only one is dedicated to a specific people, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (SCIIHRP)!
Of the other working groups assisting the UN General Assembly, only one is specific to a distinct group of people, the Working Group on the Finance of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
Another UN entity, the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), has a quasi-symbiotic role in assisting the CEIRPP with its many international conferences and reports. In 2005 Anne Patterson, Deputy US Representative to the UN, stated:
The U.S. seeks the abolition of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian and of the Division of Palestinian Rights because both are inimical to the aim of ensuring that UN monies are directed to our highest priorities and in achieving a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… The United States strongly opposes the use of scarce UN resources to support the biased and one-sided political activities carried out by the Committee.
Defamation under the dovish guise of peace
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been a core international component of Israel’s demonisation since 1975. Fittingly, it was created when the United Nations Arab and Islamic blocs managed passage of General Assembly Resolution 3379, an infamous text that declared Zionism to be “a form of racism and racial discrimination.”
UN Resolution 3379 was repealed in 1991 but the CEIRPP succeeded in reintroducing the same meme that self-determination of the Jewish People equals racism, at the equally infamous United Nations 2001 Durban “anti-racism” Conference. Durban I is seen by many as a crucial catalytic event that has greatly advanced Israel’s demonisation.
The CEIRPP would continue to spread this message with a succession of major conferences through the first decade of the New Millennium. One of their conferences in Paris became the international platform for launching the BDS Movement which aims to destroy Israel.
The CEIRPP’s concerns about racism can be viewed with genuine scepticism, not only because the organisation is a driving force at anti-Semitic events. Its commitment to prejudice against Arabs, of which the Palestinians are comprised, can also be questioned because Mahathir Mohamad’s statements about Arab stupidity were of little concern to them.
The Committee’s successes are notable. In 2007, the CEIRPP hosted a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was called “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” The title is yet another example of Orwellian propaganda since speakers uniformly demonised the Jewish State.
A number of European Parliamentary members aptly described the CEIRPP’s corrosive influence:
Despite the neutrally sounding title of its conference, CEIRPP has a proven record of anti-Israel bias, spreading propaganda that presents only the Palestinian narrative, including the delegitimization of Israel — a UN member state. The CEIRPP casts a shadow on the UN role in the Middle East conflict and is first and foremost harmful to the UN.
Similarly, in 2011 the CEIRPP was an important tool in galvanising support for a unilateral bid for Palestinian statehood at the UN, a move which went against the spirit of a negotiated peace as enshrined in the Oslo Accords.
In 2012 the Simon Wiesenthal Centre sought to bring the CEIRPP’s activities to the attention of Ban Ki-moon, the United Nation’s Secretary General, in the aftermath of a CEIRPP sponsored UNESCO meeting in Paris. The Centre requested an investigation into the Committee’s activities, deeming them to be in violation of the principles of the UN Charter, and a threat to world peace.
Rob Harris contributes articles to several websites on contentious political issues (not to be confused with the popular English novelist (1957-) of the same name). He blogs at eirael.blogspot.com. He lives in Ireland. For all the exclusive blog entries by Rob Harris, go here.