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Chairperson : Mr. WIBISONO (Indonesia)
(a) COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE DURBAN DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION (continued)
(a) COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE DURBAN DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION
(agenda item 6) (continued ) (E/CN.4/2005/15-17, 18 and Corr.1, and Add.1 and Corr.1, and Add.2-6, 19-21, 63 and 125; E/CN.4/2005/NGO/3, 26, 56, 66, 102, 137, 149, 176, 212, 239, 261, 280 and 315)
25. Mr. MELEIKA (Egypt) ...
26. His Government was deeply concerned over the increase in acts of discrimination against Arabs and Muslims in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001, including attacks on places of worship and Islamic cultural centres and the public defamation of Islam. Such discrimination had gone as far as the construction of a wall to isolate members of that community. In its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the International Court of Justice had called for the dismantlement of the wall and for compensation for the victims.
55. Mr. RAAD (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that new forms of racism and racial discrimination were phenomena proving that mankind did not yet understand what civilization truly meant. They were bred by ignorance and were encouraged by the fact that human rights were considered from a unilateral standpoint, testifying to narrow-mindedness and double standards. One of the new forms of discrimination was directed against Arabs and Muslims living in a world where they were involved in an imaginary conflict of civilizations, although they had thought that the disappearance of colonialism and apartheid might have marked the end of discriminatory policies. It was, however, clear that Israel was trying to revive such antiquated policies through the discrimination it was practising in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Golan. His Government particularly thanked the Special Rapporteur on racism for his report on the defamation of religions (E/CN.4/2005/18/Add.4), especially the part dealing with Islamophobia and Arabophobia since Islam was one of the religions being targeted by intolerance.
58. Mr. LEVANON (Observer for Israel) said that the evils of racism and discrimination had arisen in almost every society. As victims of one form of such hatred, anti-Semitism, Israel felt a special responsibility to stand by other victims of racial discrimination. The United Nations should be mindful of the atrocity of the Holocaust which had led to its establishment and should therefore remain eternally vigilant. The ugly scourge of anti-Semitism was spreading once again. Efforts to draw a distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism should be categorically rejected. The destructive machinery of the Nazis had begun with words. That demonstrated how easy it was to move from vilification to dehumanization and destruction.
73. Ms. KOHN (Al Haq and Adalah) said that for three years, Israel had been separating thousands of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories from their families in Israel, solely on grounds of their ethnic origin. Israel’s law on nationality and entry into Israel specifically excluded residents of the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. It was discriminatory and prevented the consideration of new nationality and residence applications. The law was applied retroactively, thus negating previous judgements that had granted nationality or residence permits, with no right to appeal. Such a law could not be justified by Israeli security claims, which only mentioned a few individual suspects out of the thousands who had been granted status. The whole Palestinian population was considered a security threat, and family unification in Israel was prevented on grounds of ethnic origin. The law also discriminated directly against Arab citizens and residents of Israel who married Palestinian residents of the occupied Palestinian territories. Such a discriminatory and disproportionate measure could not be justified. Israel had renewed the law twice, most recently in January 2005. The international community must address the issue, and the Commission must urge Israel to revoke the law.
111. Ms. PÉREZ GUTIERREZ (National Union of Jurists of Cuba) said that the Cuban people and their Government had repeatedly affirmed their support for all actions aimed at implementing the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
112. The United States, however, the self-styled defender of freedom, was the most flagrant violator of human rights. Internally, racism against African Americans, Hispanics and Arabs was institutionalized, while abroad economic domination was coupled with support for Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people, pursuit of the war in Iraq and the detention of prisoners in subhuman conditions at the illegal naval base in Guantánamo, Cuba.
113. With racial discrimination and xenophobia on the rise, it was time for an uncompromising response from the Commission in order to end all forms of discrimination once and for all.
117. Mr. LITTMAN (World Union for Progressive Judaism) said that Judeophobia, under the guise of anti-Zionism, was generally recognized as endemic in the Arab and Muslim world, being nourished by a culture of hate that was creeping into Europe and beyond. The annual adoption since 1999 of a Commission resolution, sponsored by the 56 Muslim States members of OIC, against any “defamation of religions” had in no way affected those dangerous attitudes. There had been no official reaction from any United Nations official to the Judeophobic diatribe delivered by the Malaysian President of the tenth OIC summit in 2003 in his farewell address, although Malaysia was a member of the Commission on Human Rights.
118. His organization had drawn attention in 2003 (E/CN.4/2003/NGO/4) to the fact that anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world had been totally ignored by the Special Rapporteur on racism. The same document had contained an appeal to the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the serialization in 2002 on an Egyptian television channel of a melodrama based on the 100-year-old forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . The genocidal dangers of such racist manifestations should not be underestimated.
Statements in exercise of the right of reply
122. Mr. BALA CHANDRAN (Malaysia) said that the representative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism had taken a statement by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed out of context, with little or no reference to the former Prime Minister’s main message.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.