Agenda Item 7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Statement by: Kayan - Feminist Organization and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
8 July 2019
We would like to draw the attention of the Council to the pervasive phenomenon within Israeli society of hate speech targeting Palestinians.
Thousands of inciting, violent or insulting posts against Palestinians are published on social media, whose content includes racist slurs, insults, and calls for violent actions. Israel completely ignores these attacks and makes use of its cybersecurity surveillance in order to limit the freedom of expression of Palestinians.
Hate speech by political representatives has an alarming impact on society, giving legitimacy to discriminatory behaviours and contributing to widespread xenophobia. Disinformation and hate speech have the result of instilling fear of vulnerable groups and minorities among the larger population.
This form of manipulation allows politicians to win and govern a country based on fear and hatred with the strong possibility of enacting discriminatory and racist laws.
Kayan and Geneva International Centre for Justice call on this Council to:
- Take prompt action against the widespread phenomenon of hate speech in Israeli society and ensure accountability for the crimes that have been committed.
- Put pressure on Israel to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the Rabat Plan of Action.
- Restate the fundamental right of self-determination of the Palestinian people as well as their right of return to their lands and properties.
Thank you, Mr. President