November 21, 2019

UN Council Condemns Israel in Two Resolutions

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) condemned Israel in two separate resolutions on July 23, one of which was a resolution about Palestinian women’s rights.

The “situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” resolution states that ECOSOC has “grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, and its impact on women and girls” and “that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women and girls with regard to the fulfillment of their rights, and their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society.” 

The resolution goes onto urge Israel “to immediately cease all measures contrary to international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

ECOSOC passed the aforementioned resolution by a vote 40 in favor, 2 against and 9 abstentions.

The second resolution, titled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,” blamed “Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian lands” for the economic hardship of the Palestinian and Syrian people, according to a U.N. press release. That resolution passed with a vote of 45 in favor, 2 against and 4 abstentions.

U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer denounced the U.N.’s July 23 actions in a press release, calling them hypocritical for solely condemning Israel on women’s rights but failing to denounce Iran, Saudi Arabia or Yemen, all of whom sit on ECOSOC.

When you have Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen among the UN council members accusing Israel of violating women’s rights, you are in the theater of the absurd,” Neuer said.

According to Human Rights Watch, Iran has arrested women’s rights activists for refusing to wear hijabs in public, both Iran and Saudi Arabia require consent from male spouses in order for women to travel abroad, and in Yemen women are “exposed to domestic and sexual violence” because of “a lack of legal protection.”

U.N. Watch’s press release also argued that the women’s rights resolution ignored the Palestinian governments’ treatment of women. Hamas forces women to wear headscarves in the Gaza Strip as well as bans them from smoking and participating in public marathons with men, according to the Huffington Post. Amnesty International has also noted that women and girls are “inadequately protected against sexual and other gender-based violence, including so-called ‘honor’ killings in the West Bank and Gaza.

In March, the United Nations gave Iran a seat on the U.N. Women’s Rights Committee.