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PACBI writes to UN genocide prevention chief over complicity with Israel's ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem

June 8, 2016
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Note: Mr Adama Dieng has ignored PACBI's appeal and his talk at Israel's settlement university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, continues advertised at the website of INoGS. H.E.

Note: Mr Adama Dieng has ignored PACBI's appeal and his talk at Israel's settlement university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, continues advertised at the website of INoGS.

H.E. Adama Dieng
Under-Secretary-General
Special Advisor for the Secretary-General
On the Prevention of Genocide
United Nations

Friday, May 20, 2016

Re: Participation in the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) Conference in Occupied Jerusalem

We are writing to express our deep concern at your scheduled participation in the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) conference in Jerusalem next month. The conference will take place in at Hebrew University, which operates facilities in an illegal Israeli settlement. The sponsoring five Israeli universities are deeply complicit in serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

Participating in this conference undermines the mandate of the office of the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Your participation would further fuel the culture of impunity encouraging serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated against Palestinians. It is for this reason that we urge you to withdraw your participation.
Israeli universities sponsoring this conference are profoundly complicit in justifying the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land. Such justifications are active contributions to legitimizing Israel’s unlawful policies of forcible population transfer, house demolitions, the routing of the Wall and its associated movement restrictions. These policies are orchestrated to facilitate the systematic forced removal, of the indigenous Palestinians [occupied population] for the purpose of building and expanding illegal Israeli exclusively Jewish settlements in the occupied territory.

These institutions actively rationalize the gradual ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians. They have also actively participated in developing weapons systems and military doctrines, including the Dahiya and Hannibal Doctrines that closely resemble the banned scorched earth policy, deployed in Israel’s recent wars against Lebanon and Gaza. In addition, these institutions actively provided moral justifications for willful killings and other forms of indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects; to name a few of the many implicit and explicit violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law.

Furthermore, Israeli universities systematically discriminate against “non-Jewish” students in admissions, housing eligibility, financial aid, and impose restrictive processes aimed for the systematic exclusion of Palestinian students from academic life.

This conference has been called for at a time when new repressive and discriminatory Israeli laws and a dominant culture of racism and intolerance that has been instilled over decades is more apparent than ever. This has enabled Israel’s occupation forces to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinian child and youth protesters in situations where they pose no serious threat. A report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has detailed some of the “arbitrary killings” carried out by the Israeli military, calling on the UN to immediately investigate them.

Encouraged to do so by the racial incitement of Israeli leaders (see here and here), large numbers of ordinary Israelis are increasingly praising and calling for attacks and killings of Palestinians (here and here). Recently, an Eritrean asylum seeker at an Israeli bus stop was mistaken for a Palestinian assailant and subsequently shot and beaten to death by an Israeli “lynch mob” in full sight of Israeli soldiers.

The UN Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council, and the General Assembly of the United Nations for Israel have repeatedly demanded that Israel immediately halt violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Despite continuous calls to do so, Israel refuses to adhere to its legal obligations towards the occupied Palestinian population. Israeli academic institutions, including the ones hosting and sponsoring this conference, continue to be heavily complicit in these violations.

Participating in this conference jeopardizes the crucial role of your office and undermines its credibility, as your mandate requires the monitoring of “massive and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law of ethnic and racial origin that, if not prevented or halted, might lead to genocide.”

Your participation in this conference with its existing organizational structure would be seen, by the Palestinian civil society and the international human rights advocates community, as an encouraging reward of the ongoing serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law – fueling the toxic environment of impunity in Israel.

Based on the above, we urge you to withdraw your participation from the INoGS conference, and to instead report the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in violations of international humanitarian law.

We look forward to hearing from you by Friday, May 27, 2016.

Sincerely,

PACBI

June 8, 2016
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