WASHINGTON - Israel filed a formal complaint with the United Nations on Tuesday over statements made by UN General Assembly President, Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, who called for an international boycott of Israel after accusing it of being an apartheid regime. D'Escoto went on to decry the
plight of the Palestinians, describing the failure to create a Palestinian state as "the single greatest failure in the history of the United Nations."
The United Nations is currently marking its annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is set on the anniversary of the 1947 date it adopted Resolution 181, calling for the partition of the land under British control into two states – Jewish and Arab.
Over the course of two days the General Assembly will host a series of anti-Israel venues, including exhibits on Palestinian suffering and films comparing Israel to the Nazi regime.
The pinnacle of the event will come in the form of a marathon of discussions, to culminate with the passing of six resolutions against Israel. These include ones calling for the return of the Golan Heights to Syria and the division of Jerusalem.
In his address on Monday d'Escoto said: "Although different, what is being done against the Palestinian people seems to me to be a version of the highest policy of apartheid." D'Escoto said the fact that Palestinians still had no statehood represents the "single greatest failure" of the UN.
The General Assembly president called on international institutions to boycott Israel and sever its financial ties to the world, and for the imposing of sanctions against Jerusalem.
Until last year Israel had usually chosen to abstain from taking part in the annual solidarity day. And so Tuesday saw Ambassador Gabriella Shalev take the podium and ask her colleagues how the day the UN voted on the establishment of the State of Israel had become a day of mourning and grief.
Shalev slammed the UN as being disconnected from reality, calling it an organization "that does not represent or reflect what is truly happening. The real things happen outside the UN."
Shalev lamented the anti-Israel tone of the United Nations at a time when it is engaged in peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, and said if the discussions were to focus on the Middle East they should also touch on Iran's repeated threats to destroy Israel, Syria's armament of terrorists, Hamas' rocket attacks on Israeli towns and Hizbullah's growing strength.
"We will not allow this lowest common denominator, of bashing Israel, to dictate these discussions," the ambassador said.