JERUSALEM (JTA) — A United Nations committee questioned Palestinian representatives on incitement and racism over two days.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was examining the Palestinian Authority’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The committee in the hearings Tuesday and Wednesday sought explanations of “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel prejudice and incitement to hatred” in the “media and speeches of state officials,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Officials asked what the Palestinians were doing to curb such rhetoric.
On Wednesday morning, Palestinian representatives accused the Israelis of weaponizing anti-Semitism and asserted that it was Zionism rather than Palestinian rhetoric that constituted racism.
“I would like to remind you that in 1975, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379, indicating that Zionism is a form of racism. That is the root of the problem that we face,” the Post quoted the PLO’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, as saying.
The resolution was revoked in 1991, which Khraishi did not mention.
Ammar Hijazi, who was representing the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, said the accusations of anti-Semitism were used to “silence righteous dissent.”
Representatives of Jewish and Israeli NGOs also attended the hearings.
Marcus Sheff of IMPACT-se, an Israeli organization that monitors Palestinian textbooks, said the Palestinian response “ignores all of the evidence that was presented at the U.N. committee.”
“The evidence on anti-Semitism, hate and incitement to violence is there in the books, literally in black and white,” he said.