UN women’s rights panel due to culminate annual session by condemning Israel

Israel’s envoy to UN Prosor bemoans Commission on the Status of Women ‘obsessive’ preoccupation with Palestinian issue, while ignoring women being ‘butchered, tortured, raped’ in Syria.

The United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), scheduled to wrap up its annual session on Friday, is expected to pass a resolution condemning Israel’s part in the degrading of living conditions for Palestinian women, while failing to mention the mistreatment of women in the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Friday’s session will include such professional resolution as concerning “woman and natural disasters,” “women hostages,” women and girls and AIDS,” and “mortality among women.

UN headquarters AP October 12, 2010

United Nations General Assembly Hall on Oct. 12, 2010. - Photo by AP

However, the panel is expected to also an eight-clause resolution, determining that the “Israeli occupation” in territories, including East Jerusalem, is the main obstacle for the advancement of the Palestinian woman.

The panel, which includes representatives from 45 countries, including Israel, is considered to be one of the UN’s most active and respected bodies.

Responding to the decision to condemn Israel, Israeli envoy to the UN Ron Prosor told Haaretz that the “council’s bring levels of absurdity and cynicism to new heights.”

“The thousands of Syrian women butchered, tortured, raped and trampled under Assad’s iron boot don’t even get a passing mention in the panel’s decisions,” Prosor added.

In private discussions and in response to official Israeli appeals, the panel’s European members have attacked the wording of a resolution specifically addressing Palestinian women, and agree that it is not professionally motivated.

However, like similar resolutions accepted in last year’s session, European representatives are expected to either back the draft or abstain the vote.

Prosor referred to this apparent pattern, saying that “under the protection of the European states’ abstaining, the [CSW] turns its back on the tortured and murdered women of Damascus and continues to obsessively deal with Palestinian women.”

“Does the resolution denounce ‘honor killings’ in the Palestinian society? Does the resolution discuss Hamas’ repression of women in Gaza? Of course not. The UN continues to deal with the Palestinian issue without any connection to what’s happening on the ground.

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By Shlomo Shamir