[News] Why is UNICEF a "proud supporter" of Israeli settlements?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 9 18:43:54 EDT 2019


  Why is UNICEF a "proud supporter" of Israeli settlements?

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 9 
April 2019


UNICEF is sponsoring a major EU-financed project to link Israeli 
settlements to Europe’s electricity grid.

The United Nations children’s agency is listed 
<https://www.euroasia-interconnector.com/> among the “proud supporters” 
of the EuroAsia Interconnector, a project 
<https://www.euroasia-interconnector.com/at-glance/> to build a 
1,000-mile subsea cable linking the European electricity grid with 
Israel via Greece and Cyprus.

This means that Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, 
including East Jerusalem, and Syria’s Golan Heights – all illegal under 
international law – would be linked to the European network 
and would benefit from Israel’s ability to trade electricity through the 

When completed, the system will also allow Israel to sell electricity 
produced from gas extracted from Mediterranean fields that are the 
subject of international disputes involving Israel, the Palestinians and 

    . at UNICEF <https://twitter.com/UNICEF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> Israel’s
    settlements are war crimes and they violate the human rights of
    Palestinian children.

    Drop your “proud support” for EuroAsia Interconnector, the
    electricity cable linking Israel’s illegal settlements to Europe.
    pic.twitter.com/ZdsgAiPkXi <https://t.co/ZdsgAiPkXi>

    — BDS movement (@BDSmovement) April 8, 2019

“This multi-billion euro project rewards Israel for its war crimes while 
Palestinians are being kept in the dark,” the Palestinian Boycott, 
Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said in an action 
alert this week urging the public to tell UNICEF to drop its support for 
the project.

“Israel’s siege on Gaza limits electricity to just a few hours per day 
for close to two million Palestinians living there,” the action alert 
states. “Israel has repeatedly demolished Palestinian solar energy 
installations in the occupied West Bank, the only source of energy for 
many communities.”

Many of the Palestinian energy projects destroyed by Israel were funded 
by the EU 

    Crimes against children

The BNC notes that UNICEF’s slogan is “For every child, hope,” and that 
the UN organization “has widely documented how Israel’s illegal 
settlements deny Palestinian children their basic human rights and any 
hope for a future of justice, peace and dignity.”

Yet UNICEF is “supporting an electricity cable to these colonial 
settlements, granting them recognition, money and infrastructure so they 
flourish,” the BNC states.

Israel’s systematic abuse of Palestinian children includes military 
detention and torture 
in the West Bank.

And in Gaza, a UN independent commission of inquiry recently called for 
the arrest 
of Israelis involved in alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity 
including the intentional killing of children during Great March of 
Return <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/great-march-return> protests.

With a budget of $4 billion 
<https://www.euroasia-interconnector.com/completionmain/> largely 
by the European Union, the EuroAsia Interconnector has received a 
high-level blessing 
from the Trump administration, which recently granted US recognition 
to Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights.

“By financing the interconnector and connecting Europe’s electricity 
grid with Israel’s, the EU and member states would provide direct 
support to Israel’s illegal settlements in violation of their legal 
obligations and commitments,” the BNC states in a recent briefing 
on the project.

The BNC, a broad-based Palestinian civil society coalition, is demanding 
that the EU withdraw tenders and financing related to the Israel-Cyprus 
electricity link, conduct a credible human rights assessment of the 
EuroAsia Interconnector and warn companies and investors of legal and 
other risks of involving themselves in Israeli gas and electricity projects.

    Risk to citizens’ privacy

The BNC is also warning of a risk to citizens’ privacy in relation to a 
side project of the EuroAsia Interconnector, the so-called Quantum 
cable, a fiber-optic line that will run from Spain to Israel.

“Laying of the Quantum cable will mean that 60 percent 
<https://www.quantum-cable.com/> of the world’s internet traffic – 
between Europe and Asia – will pass through Israel, raising serious 
concerns on security and civil rights,” according to the BNC.

Israel has a well-documented record of cyberspying and subterfuge 
capabilities that its intelligence agencies and firms deploy against 
advocates for Palestinian human rights 
or market to other repressive regimes 
such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The EU’s support for the EuroAsia Interconnector and Israeli gas export 
to Europe stands in stark contrast with Israel’s systematic assault on 
Palestinian human rights, energy sources and supply,” the BNC adds.

While UNICEF’s open support for Israel’s criminal activities is out of 
keeping with its mission and mandate, the EU’s complicity is typical of 
the bloc’s long-standing policy of rewarding Israel 
for its violations in spite of European lip service to peace, human 
rights and international law.

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