The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Top UN Official: Apartheid by Israel


The Jerusalem Post reports: "General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto
Brockmann said the international community should consider sanctions
against Israel including 'boycott, divestment and sanctions' similar to
those enacted against South Africa two decades ago."

In his remarks, d'Escoto said: "Israeli policies in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an
earlier era, a continent away. I believe it is very important that we
in the United Nations use this term. We must not be afraid to call
something what it is."

Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and serves on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.

She said today: "The humanitarian crisis in Gaza -- which will not
be reversed simply by Israel's one-time loosening of the siege on
Monday -- has escalated largely outside public view, with Israel
continuing to prevent foreign journalists and UN officials from
entering, while keeping Palestinian journalists and human rights
workers from leaving the besieged Gaza Strip. Father Miguel d'Escoto's
statement to the UN General Assembly on Monday helped cast some new
light on that too-often hidden reality.

"But even beyond the Gaza crisis, d'Escoto's statement was
significant for his call on the United Nations to follow the lead of
former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter, along with a growing
number of Jewish, Christian and other civil society organizations
around the world, including the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation
here in the U.S., who recognize the applicability of the term
'apartheid' to describe Israeli policies towards Palestinians, and call
for a South African-style non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions
campaign to pressure Israel to end those illegal practices."
More Information

Video of d'Escoto's remarks are available here (registration required).

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.