Press Release 14 September 2005

Scottish Friends of Palestine expresses deep concern over the appearance of Ariel Sharon on the world stage at the UN in New York.

Israel’s membership of the U.N. has always been under a cloud. Its admittance to the UN in May 1949 was contingent on her accepting General Assembly Resolution 194 which states that all Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes. Along with an eventual dozens of Security Council Resolutions later, this was ignored.

It is a disgrace and brings the UN into disrepute when it allows a member state which has always flouted its authority to be represented by an individual with war criminal credentials.

In a perverse way it is, of course, fitting that this event should be taking place in the week that Britain allowed another Israeli war criminal, Major General (retired) Doron Almog, to escape imminent justice. These events follow hard on the heels of the redeployment of Israeli military forces from Gaza but leaving the occupation firmly entrenched – effectively the wardens no longer cohabiting with the prisoners, but still in control.

Sharon’s presence in New York sends the wrong message. It confirms that if war criminals have friends in high places they can continue with business-as-usual. Israel’s continuing status as a brutal military occupier is confirmed and accepted.

As for peace, this awaits some real resolve from the UN and the international community.

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