10 December marks 70 years since the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A milestone document produced in 1948 that coincided with the Nakba – the catastrophe – the forced dispossession of seventy five per cent of the Palestinian population.
The failure to address the extensive human rights abuses against the Palestinians has been a dark blot on the mission statement of the Universal Declaration. Netanyahu’s new Nation-State Law has deepened their suffering by disenfranchising Palestinians living in Israel to effective persona non grata.
This year’s Great March of Return in Gaza faced intense violence, with children, medics and journalists among the at least 168 killed by the IDF.
President Trump’s embassy move has now emboldened the Netanyahu administration and formalised Netanyahu’s unlawful claim to all of Jerusalem.
Finally, the illegal settlements have continued to expand in the West Bank, appropriating more land and increasing human rights violations.
Friends of Al-Aqsa notes that in a year distinguished by the Netanyahu and Trump administration’s hostility toward Palestinian human rights, that there have also been some striking examples of hope.
The Quakers have opted to divest from the occupation, Airbnb has withdrawn listings in the West Bank for being discriminatory and the Labour Party formally endorsed an end to arms sales to Israel.
Ismail Patel said, “if the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are to have any meaning and relevance than the UN needs to act in ending the abuses of the Palestinians”.