The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: The Evidence

  evidence-based reports | authored and compiled by
constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme) | director, progressive voices for peace in the middle east (pvpme)


false authorities: UNHRC


►The Facts

The Company BDS Keeps: UNHRC BDS supporters have cited as serious the promulgations against Israel issued by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

This is the UNHRC of the notorious Richard Falk, who has in turn replaced the extremist John Dugard (who, like BDS, hyperbolically and without evidence under international law likened Israel to apartheid South Africa) as Investigator of Israeli actions in the Territories, a man who shamelessly deploys the language of the Holocaust in equating the treatment of the Palestinians to the collective atrocities of Nazi, Rwandan, and Bosnian genocide, although he in fact goes on to acknowledge in his writings that absolutely and unequivocally no such genocide has in fact been perpetrated in the Territories [see for evidence: Falk R. Slouching Towards Palestinian Holocaust. Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research. June 29, 2007]. This is the Richard Falk of racist cartoons and fundamentalist biases, an enthusiastic promoter of conspiracy theories including the U.S. involvement in the 9/11 al-Qaeda atrocity, and a starry-eyed praiser of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini.

This is the same UNHRC that has spent more time and resources on Israel than any other country, but in its entire history to date has never passed a single resolution concerning human rights violations in states such as Syria and China, and has ignored thousands of independently verified complaints of gross and systematic human rights abuses in Liberia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe and others, allowing these major human rights violators to enjoy complete moral, procedural and exculpatory immunity.

This is the UNHRC who has on its governing board Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia, and members of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference), and other members with odious human rights records have recently been elected to the Commission that include racially-driven genocidal Sudan, as well as Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe. This is the UNHRC for which Libya served as chairman of the Commission in 2003, despite ties to the Lockerbie bombing and its own domestic human rights abuses. This is the UNHRC that has refused to remove from its website an anti-Semitic text (A/HRC/13/NGO/23) that outrageously accuses Israeli doctors of a racist conspiracy to steal organs from Palestinian Authority Arabs, the text of which was submitted by the laughable and Orwellian International Organization for Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a group amazingly created wholly in Libya and closely tied to Muammar Kaddafi’s horrific regime. And this is the UNHRC that has praised Libyan dictator Muammar Kaddafi's regime for its sterling human rights record!

►The Lessons
This is the UNHRC of the BDS, but not of any moral person dedicated to justice and peace in the Middle East truly inclusive of the concerns of both Palestinians and Israelis, and respectful of their complex and competitive nationalist aspirations in one and the same land for which only sincere negotiations for peace with mutual accommodation, not hollow boycotts, can hope to bring about.


evidence-based reports: our reporting


Imperative in this context is a new equity in geopolitics that eschews disproportionate approbation of one actor to the exclusion of all others while also acknowledging the competitive narratives of national ambition and identity in the Middle East, with the need for new engagement and negotiation. 

This misplaced and uncritical reliance on ideological and prejudicial sources has evolved to be a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has led to what others have termed a new “soft powerlessness” for Israel whose legitimacy has been successively eroded and who stands accused and convicted in the international arena. And it helps account for the current moribund state of peace negotiation. We therefore realized that what is needed to overcome these barriers to peace is effective confrontation through the exposure and refutation of lawfare as practiced by anti-peace NGOs and obstructionist initiatives like BDS. This will in turn require a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land, in order to achieve a fair and durable peace in the Middle East for Israel, and for the Palestinians.

To that end, I as Director of Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME) and a member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), have authored and compiled a series of evidence-based reports (EBRs) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict which are founded on an objective critical systemic review of the core issues and a critical appraisal of the relevant arguments, sustained by scrupulous attention to and respect for principles of international and human rights law.  This demands (1) systematic review of all credible sources on an issue, (2) critical appraisal of all sources extracted for factual basis, (3) cross-confirmation of accuracy wherever viable, and (4) use of the highest caliber of sources available, with preference to peer-reviewed literature.

These evidence-based reports hone to the principles of the evidence-based paradigm and methodology as it has evolved from initial domain of application (medicine) into a broad spectrum of evidence-based practice and research
, in the form of evidence-based sociology, evidence-based education and evidence-based teaching, evidence-based psychology, evidence-based crime policy / policing, evidence-based  decision making /policy, evidence-based social work, among many others. We  also commit to industry-standards promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their SPJ Code of Ethics, the guidelines for online  journalism issued by Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in their What are the ethics of online journalism?, and the elements of PIRC (Public-Interest Responsible Communication), especially the Verification Of The Reliability Of Sources, the Independent Verification of Factual Assertions, the Transparency with Sources, and Assessing Objectivity. (For a good summary, see Elements of "Responsible" Journalism of the Canadian Journalism Project, a project of The Canadian Journalism Foundation in collaboration with leading Canadian journalism schools and organizations). 



progressive voices for peace (PVPME)

Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME), a Brooklyn based initiative, grew out of the recognition that these next-generation obstacles to peace require effective confrontation through counter-lawfare initiatives and the need for a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land.

Director, Constantine Kaniklidis



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Constantine Kaniklidis | Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East | 2016.  All rights reserved.