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For having denounced the violations of the right to food in the occupied territories
Jean Ziegler in the dock

Jean Ziegler, UN special investigator on the right to food, now is in the dock because he documented – in an official investigation – the Israeli violations of the right to food and the human rights in the occupied territories.


Jean Ziegler

In a letter dated July 14th 2004, to the ambassador M. Smith – Chairperson of the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights – with copies to the highest levels on the UN, United Nations Watch (UN Watch) accuses in essence M. Ziegler to have acted upon “not objective” criteria that had no relation with his mandate and to have used his position in side the United Nations as a political platform for making public statements against Israel.

UN Watch demands from the Secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan, and from High Commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbor, “to end the mandate of M. Ziegler”.

The accusations against M. Ziegler began when, in August 2003, he created a file that showed that the policies of the Israeli government were directly responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe and its consequences on the food of the Palestinian population [1]. These accusations, stated as well by the spokesmen of the Hebrew State as by pro Israel organisations, have doubled in intensity since Jean Ziegler demanded the USA corporation Caterpillar to stop selling Israel bulldozers used by the latter for destruction of houses and for killing innocents in Palestine.

UN Watch is a NGO based in Geneva, that states that it is concerned “with the right application of the United Nations Charter”. It’s governed by an administrative Council composed of representatives of the World Jewish Congress and former representatives of the United States government. Among them are Edgar M. Bronfman, David A. Harris, John Bolton, Jeane Kirckpatrick. [2]

In its accusations, the UN Watch never considers the truth (or not) of the facts reported by Jean Ziegler. They rely solely on the narrow mandate ( with respect to food) and on principles of neutrality stated by the UN, that, according to them, Jean Ziegler did not respect. The whole argument of UN Watch consists of basing themselves on the legal definition of the mandate in order to eject the facts documented by Jean Ziegler; unassailable facts from a moral point of view.

According to UN Watch, Jean Ziegler took advantage of his mandate to do something else than what he was allowed to do. In this way he was guilty of abuse of power, had disregarded the principle of equality, had had a discriminatory attitude by going to Transjordan and Gaza, while there were, according to UN Watch, enough countries where the food situation was worse, and had stated against Israel “accusations” that had no relation with the mandate that he had been trusted with.

The actions of Jean Ziegler, affirms the UN Watch in their requisitory, “are (a) a flagrant abuse of the mandate given him by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights ; (b) a blatant violation of the principles of impartiality, non – selectivity and objectivity that govern the work of Special Rapporteurs; and (c) an overt breach of the equality principles of the Charter of the United Nations (…) Finally, Mr. Jean Ziegler’s pattern and practice of discrimination against the Jewish state directly contravenes UN Secretary general Kofi Annan’s 21 June 2004 action plan against anti-Semitism which rejects the demonization of Zionism, stipulates that “Jews, everywhere, must feel that the United Nations is their home too”, and urges particular action from Special Rapporteurs”.

The coming weeks and months will show how Kofi Annan and Louise Arbour will react to the accusations of anti Semitism on behalf of their special investigator on the right to food.

How long will the truth on the policies of the Israeli state in the territories that it occupies be suppressed ? How long still, this truth, will it be the hostage of the pro Israeli cabals that act towards the media and the centres of political decisions ?

Silvia Cattori

Translated from French by : Foppe



[1See, on Réseau Voltaire, an answer of Mr Ziegler to these accusations

[2United Nations Watch is a NGO of which the façade is universal, but that serves mainly or exclusively the interests of Israel. It’s an organisation created and controlled by persons of Jewish origin, whose principal activity is to protect the Israeli policy at the UN. Their site www.unwatch.org tells enough about the kind of people that form its administrative council. All members are known for their unconditional efforts towards the Israeli state and Zionism. The UN Watch is not the only organisation with a NGO status associated with the UN that is supported by Jewish organisations (openly or secretly). They are very active in the corridors of the UN and are just puppets of governments or of commercial or financial interests. UN Watch thus is just one of the many NGO’s created by the Israeli government with the aid of the world Jewish congress and the American Jewish organisations.