As the relentless Israeli war on Gaza enters its 45th day, the killing of more than 13,300 Palestinians, among them 5,600 children, remains unmet with tangible international initiatives to bring it to a halt.
The chair of all United Nations human rights committees has called out the UN for its failure to firmly condemn the ongoing war on Gaza, urging the international community to put an end to what he termed ‘a true holocaust’.
Noureddine Amir, also chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), drew a startling parallel between historical atrocities, saying: “Six million Jews died in the Holocaust while Europe looked on. Today, there was a new holocaust and it was the Palestinian people who were paying the price.”
The UN “had been unable to firmly condemn this attack and prevent violations of international law”, he said.
“This was truly a holocaust, and the international community needed to put an end to it.”
The powerful session, which reviewed anti-discrimination efforts by Bolivia, Bulgaria, Germany, Morocco, South Africa, and Vietnam under Article 14 of the Convention, addressed the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, which has so far killed over 13,300 Palestinians, including 5,600 children.
Amir pointed to the plight of the Palestinians, expressing frustration at their continued displacement from their land, questioning how long the world would remain silent.
“The Palestinians were again being chased from their land. Until when would all remain silent? Enough was enough. Israel was a true terrorist State,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yury Boychenko, Chief of the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section, echoed Amir’s sentiments, highlighting that 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, millions still faced obstacles in exercising their rights due to racism and discrimination.
Boychenko pointed out that systemic racism persisted, particularly against people of African descent and indigenous peoples. He emphasised the prevalence of racist hate speech and xenophobic attitudes.
The stark disparity between UN efforts and the ground reality, specifically in the Middle East, was emphasised by Committee Expert Gay McDougall.
McDougall revealed that the Committee had issued a crucial statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in the occupied Gaza Strip, forming a commission for consultation with the concerned states. However, the efforts had yielded no results, as one of the States parties refused to cooperate.
McDougall, though, fell short of mentioning the state party in question.
Boychenko went on to acknowledge the frustration within the Committee, expressing his personal view that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was being violated.
“Words and emotions were not enough, he said. Urgent, strong action was needed,” said Boychenko.
“The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN’s OHCHR) felt powerless in the face of this issue,” Boychenko added.
As the relentless Israeli war on Gaza enters its 45th day, the slaughter of more than 13,300 Palestinians, among them 5,600 children, remains unmet with tangible international initiatives to bring it to a halt.