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Focus on isolating ‘israel’ like apartheid SA at UN, Khane says

Alameen Templeton

Progressive nations should concentrate on isolating “israel” at the UN and stripping it of its membership rights just like was done to apartheid South Africa, former UN political director Moncef Khane says.

Working on recognising Palestinian statehood at the UN is a red herring, meant to distract its supporters from ostracising the nazi state at the organisation instead.

Importantly, kicking “israel” out of the General Assembly would require a process that is not subject to US veto – that can only happen at the Security Council, Khane writes on

He points out that Palestine has been recognised as a state at the UN since 2012, albeit with non-member observer status, but a state nevertheless. Stripping “israel” of its membership rights would then even the balance.

“israel” wouldn’t be suspended or expelled, but it would be unable to participate in proceedings and would have to sit on the sidelines, as happened to apartheid South Africa, Khane says.

“While Palestine’s full-fledged UN membership remains hostage to the US veto in the Security Council, it has become a red herring, diverting attention and action from a far more important and consequential question: Israel’s status at the UN.

“When apartheid South Africa came under growing international pressure at the UN, driven by the ascending political clout of the Global South and Africa, in particular, the UNGA acted.

“It established a centre against apartheid and initiated international boycotts of the apartheid regime in the sports, cultural, economic, and political arenas, which brought pressure to bear not only on South Africa’s racist regime, but also on its allies, including Israel.

“A seminal moment came in 1974 when a ruling by UNGA President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, then foreign minister of Algeria, made history: it suspended the participation of South Africa, stripping it of its Member State rights and privileges. It could no longer be seated, speak or vote at the General Assembly and other UN organs.

“What came to be known as the “Bouteflika Ruling” was without precedent in the annals of the UN.”

He says the ruling to strip SA of its membership rights, rather than its membership itself, was made after many attempts to expel apartheid South Africa had been blocked by US veto (supported by the UK and France) in the Security Council.

Expelling a state, or total membership cancellation, can only be done in accordance with Article 6 of the UN Charter which states: ”A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

“The US, supported by the UK and others, challenged the Bouteflika Ruling at the UNGA – and it was upheld by a vote of 91 to 22, the UN having 133 Member States at the time. The ruling was in respect of the credentials of the South African delegation, which were rejected; it did not suspend or expel South Africa as a Member State, which requires a positive Security Council recommendation,” Khane says.

If his suggestion is to be taken up, it would require present UN President Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago to make a ruling to cancel “israel’s” membership rights and then put it to the General Assembly vote.

“israel’s” allies would be unable to stop that process and a simple majority at the UN is all that would be needed to put the Nazi state in its place, he says.

“It is important to remember that apartheid South Africa changed course because it became a pariah and isolated regime. The Bouteflika Ruling was part of that process.

“In this sense, stripping Israel of its UN rights and privileges is more likely to put added pressure on the Tel Aviv regime to change course,” Khane adds.

“Now that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the atrocities against the population of Gaza may amount to genocide and has issued a number of provisional orders the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scoffed at, the UNGA ought to seriously consider  whether suspending the participation of the Israeli delegation is not, in fact, overdue.

“The Israeli delegation at UN has already demonstrated its blatant disrespect for the organisation on numerous instances.

“After the May 10 vote, for instance, its ambassador, in a most theatrical and grotesque fashion, shredded a copy of the UN Charter from the rostrum of the UNGA, shouting ‘shame on you’ to delegations in attendance.”

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