YERUSHALAYIM - The planned appearance of an Israeli Knesset member at a United Nations conference on “Fifty Years of the Occupation” is “a shameful act, as a member of the Knesset takes advantage of her standing and works with Palestinians to harm Israel at the United Nations,” said Israel Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon.
The MK in question is A’ida Toma Saliman (United Arab List), and the event at the end of June is part of the “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation.” Among the events to be held at the two day conference will be discussions on “Ending the Occupation: The Path to Independence, Justice and Peace for Palestine,” and “Creating the Space for Human Rights, Development and a Just Peace.” The event is being hosted by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and will “bring together international experts, including from the State of Palestine and Israel, representatives of the diplomatic community, civil society, as well as academics and students to discuss the ongoing occupation in a series of moderated interactive panels,” according to the Committee.
Along with Saliman, Hagai Elazar, head of the far-left group B’Tselem, will speak at the conference. Among the other speakers will be human rights activists, U.N. officials and top Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat.
Erekat and the head of a leftist group are one thing, but a Knesset member speaking at such an event is something else altogether, Danon said. “The only purpose of this conference is to denigrate and defame Israel,” he said. “Speaking at a conference like this is crossing a red line.”