Israel must be expelled from the United Nations

By Haydar Oruç

This study will try to explain why Israel should be expelled from the UN by making an evaluation of three developments that have emerged about how Israel manipulates some institutions and organizations affiliated to the United Nations.

The first is that despite the International Court of Justice’s additional injunction, announced on May 24, ordering Israel to halt all military operations in Rafah, allow the passage of humanitarian aid and allow independent investigators to enter Gaza, Israel expanded its attacks on Rafah and closed the border crossings, preventing aid from entering Gaza.

Israel has not implemented ICJ judgments and has publicly stated that it does not intend to do so. It has therefore shown that it does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

The second is a news article published in the British newspaper The Guardian on May 28, 2024 with the signature of Harry Davies and the headline “Israeli intelligence chief threatened ICC prosecutor over war crimes investigation”.

In fact, the facts revealed by the news, which should be seen as a journalistic achievement, are of such a nature as to radically shake the global order in which we live.

However, for some reason, after 3-5 days of talking about this news and pointing out Israel’s usual lawlessness as if it was something normal, it slowly began to fall off the agenda.

But this news is not something that will just fall off the agenda without anything being done about the content. Therefore, the news should be kept on the agenda until those responsible are held accountable and this system returns to normal.

Briefly, the article explains that Yossi Cohen, the former director of the Mossad, threatened the then chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Gambian jurist Fatou Bensouda, to ensure that the court would not open any investigation or request any arrest for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Israelis in the occupied Palestinian territories (Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem).

The allegations are based on colleagues working in prosecutor Bensouda’s office at the time and other judicial/administrative staff at the court.

It is alleged that Cohen tried to contact Bensouda at various times by calling her on the phone or coming to her office in person, that he met with her by imposition in New York, where she was in New York for an official meeting, and that after contacting her, he threatened her husband and family and prevented her from doing her job, and that this is why the prosecutor did not open an investigation against Israel in 2019, despite the green light given by court judges.

The Israeli side is completely silent on this issue, which has no acceptable and must be punished. Officials deny the news, saying that it is completely fictitious, while Cohen, who is the first-degree addressee of the issue, leaves questions unanswered.

If true, it shows that Israel has no qualms about manipulating an international court in order to avoid sanctions for its crimes, which would render past rulings in Israel’s favor moot.

The latest development concerns the UN agency known simply as “UNRWA”, whose full name is “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”.

Founded in 1949 to meet the educational, health and employment needs of Palestinian refugees who lost their homes and job opportunities, UNRWA has long been a target of Israel. Israel, which wanted UNRWA to be closed down and its mission transferred to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, had been lobbying donor countries intensively to cut off the funds UNRWA needed to carry out its duties. Especially after October 7, Israel was partially successful in this regard and ensured that donations to the organization from Western countries were frozen.

UNRWA, which cares for around 5.5 million Palestinian refugees in refugee camps in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, remained in Gaza after October 7, bearing the closest witness to Israel’s war and genocide crimes and exposing Israel’s crimes through its reports to the UN.

UNRWA, together with OCHA, the other UN agency working in the region, provided the court with real information from the region when the International Court of Justice starts trial against Israel and orders injunctions on January 26, 2024, thereby incurring the wrath of Israel.

UNRWA, whose 191 staff members have been killed in the ongoing genocide in Gaza, has been subjected to accusations that some of its staff members took part in the attacks on October 7, and the agency’s director Philippe Lazzarini was denied entry to Gaza to inspect the work on the ground.

In recent days, Israel, which has been using the allegations that Hamas arsenals were found under UNRWA facilities or that Israeli hostages were hiding under UNRWA facilities, broke new ground by submitting a bill to its parliament stating that UNRWA is a terrorist organization and should be banned.

The bill, which was first voted on May 29 with 58 votes in favor, is expected to become law soon, ending UNRWA’s immunity status under the UN Charter and halting its activities.

Let us now turn to the relevance of these three events for our argument that Israel should be expelled from the UN.
According to Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from resorting to the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other State in any manner incompatible with the purposes of the United Nations”.

Although Palestine is an observer member of the UN, Israel’s actions in Gaza are a clear violation of this article.

In addition, Israel is not implementing the UN Security Council’s ceasefire resolution 2728 adopted on March 25, 2024. In addition, Israel does not comply with the interim injunctions issued by the ICJ, the first on January 26 and the second on May 24, and continues the genocide in Gaza.

Article 94(2) of the UN Charter states that “If a party to a dispute fails to fulfill its obligations under a judgment of the Court, the other party may appeal to the Security Council. The Council may, if it considers it necessary, make recommendations or decide on measures to be taken for the enforcement of the award”, authorizing South Africa, the other party to the dispute, or any other party to the case, to request the Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel.

As if all this were not enough, it was also revealed that the ICC prosecutor was threatened by the head of the Israeli intelligence agency. This is a violation of all the good intentions of the UN Charter and therefore warrants a criminal sanction, as well as the initiation of a criminal investigation.

Lastly, UNRWA, a UN organization, has been labeled as a terrorist organization and banned, which are actions that cannot be reconciled with UN membership. Although Article 105 of the UN Charter stipulates that “The Organization shall enjoy in the territories of each of its members the privileges, immunities and immunities necessary for the achievement of its objectives”, Israel is attempting to make domestic legislation to abrogate this provision.

Considering the above-mentioned points, in accordance with Article 5 of the UN Charter, “A member of the United Nations against whom preventive or coercive measures have been taken by the Security Council may be suspended by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council from the exercise of the rights and privileges arising from his membership” and Article 6, “A member of the United Nations who persistently violates the principles laid down in this Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council”,

Therefore, Israel should be expelled from the UN for persistently failing to implement UN resolutions, for failing to comply with ICJ rulings, and for violating the immunity of UN institutions and threatening the prosecutor of the ICC.

This article was originally published in Diriliş Postası on June 4, 2024 in Turkish.

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