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Former Israeli UN Ambassador: 'Israel bashing is UN's favorite sport'

Former Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Screen Capture

JERUSALEM, Israel – Former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said he was "shocked but not surprised" by the U.N. report accusing Israel of being an apartheid state.

"The United Nations has long since lost its capacity to surprise me," Gillerman told journalists during a conference call Thursday.

"There have been attempts to put an end to it, to mitigate it, to try and balance things, but time and time again a report comes out like that – really shameful reports," he said.

Princeton professor emeritus Richard Falk and American political scientist Virginia Tilley compiled the report. Falk has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric.

Tilley told reporters Wednesday, "…it has become entirely clear that we're no longer talking about risk of apartheid but practice of apartheid."

Gillerman, who served as Israeli U.N. ambassador from 2003 through 2008, said the majority of U.N. member nations are not democratic.

"When these countries get together, Israel bashing is their favorite sport," he said.

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia report says there's enough "available evidence" to prove that "… Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law."

The Beirut-based commission, chaired by Jordanian Rima Khalaf, also opposes Israel's Law of Return, which offers citizenship to Jews from around the world who immigrate to Israel, calling for a comparable law for Arabs who left Israel during the War of Independence.

Current Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon asked Secretary General António Guterres to distance himself and the organization from the "biased and deceitful report."

Gillerman said it's a test for Guterres.

"Seeing as this report emanated from his organization, I think that he should try to have that report annulled or repealed. This has been done before and I think that if he makes it very clear – and he's already started doing it – that this report does not have the blessing of the secretary general and of the U.N. as an organization, it will lose a lot of its credibility, as it should."

"To call Israel an 'apartheid state' is not only untrue, it's shameful. I feel very sad for the U.N.," Gillerman said. "Israel will prevail and continue to be a vibrant democracy."


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