Tuesday, November 20, 2007

U.N. Rapporteur says that the Gaza Strip is "an immense concentration camp"

Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and a senior professor of sociology at the University of Geneva and the Sorbonne, Paris.


"Gaza comments by rights expert irresponsible - UN"

Thu 7 Jul 2005 3:24 PM ET

On the Web at:

UNITED NATIONS, July 7 (Reuters) - The United Nations denounced on Thursday a human rights investigator for calling the Gaza Strip "an immense concentration camp" and referring to Israeli soldiers as guards.

"The United Nations believes any comparison between conditions in Gaza and those of Nazi concentration camps is irresponsible," said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq. "Such a comparison does not reflect the views of the Secretary-General (Kofi Annan)."

The comments about Israeli-occupied Gaza were attributed to Jean Ziegler, a Swiss professor, and were reported by Switzerland's Le Courrier when he addressed a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Geneva on Tuesday.

"Gaza is an immense concentration camp. That the guards are today preparing to leave is a good thing. But there will be neither peace nor justice nor a future without an unconditional withdrawal of all colonists from the West Bank," he was quoted as saying.

Governments in the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission appointed Ziegler in 2000 to report on the right to food.

"As Jean Ziegler is an independent expert, who reports to the Commission on Human Rights on the right to food, his views are his own, not those of the United Nations," Haq said.

Israel has long sought to have Ziegler dismissed. Relieving Ziegler of his duties would require the vote of a majority of the 53 nations on the commission.