COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the combined seventh, eighth and ninth periodic reports of Israel (CERD/C/294/Add.1)
at its 1250th and 1251st meetings, held on 4 and 5 March 1998, and adopted,
at its 1272nd meeting, held on 19 March 1998, the following concluding
2. The Committee welcomes
the submission of the report but regrets that it does not follow the
Committee's reporting guidelines.
3. The Committee regrets
that the dialogue between its members and representatives of the State
party was not always of a constructive nature. It nevertheless welcomes
the replies of the delegation to some of the Committee's questions and
their expression of willingness to contribute to a dialogue.
4. The Committee concludes
that the Convention is far from fully implemented in Israel and the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, and that the shortfall contributes very
significantly to the dangerous escalation of tension in the region.
5. The Committee notes
with regret the stalemate in the peace process in the region.
6. It takes note of the
establishment of the Palestinian Authority which has certain responsibilities
in parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
B. Positive aspects
7. The measures taken by
the State party to prohibit the activities of racist political parties
such as Kahana (Kach) are welcomed.
8. The amendment of the
Equal Opportunity in Employment Law, prohibiting discrimination in the
labour sphere on the grounds of national ethnic origin, country of origin,
beliefs, political views, political party, affiliation or age, is welcomed,
as is the revision of the National Insurance Law.
9. The Government's efforts
to reduce and eventually eradicate the economic and educational gap
between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority are commended.
C. The Occupied Palestinian Territory
10. The Committee reiterates
its view that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
are not only illegal under contemporary international law but are an
obstacle to peace and to the enjoyment of human rights by the whole
population in the region, without distinction as to national or ethnic
origin. Actions that change the demographic composition of the Occupied
Palestinian Territory evoke concern as violations of contemporary international
11. Accordingly, the Committee
calls for a halt to the demolition of Arab properties in East Jerusalem
and for respect for property rights irrespective of the ethnic origin
of the owner.
12. The Committee reiterates
its opinion of 1991 that the report of Israel should "encompass the
entire population under the jurisdiction of the Government of Israel"
(A/46/18, para. 368). Israel is accountable for implementation of the
Convention, including the reporting obligation, in all areas over which
it exercises effective control.
D. Concerns and recommendations
13. With respect to articles
1 and 6 of the Convention, the Committee requests the State party to
supply it with details of court decisions or other authoritative sources
which make a distinction between inequality of treatment on the grounds
of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin and inequality
of treatment on other grounds such as those related to public security
14. The Committee recommends
that the State party extend its legislation against the promotion of
racial hatred by completing its implementation of the requirements of
article 4 of the Convention. The Committee has earlier held that when
anyone makes threats in public against the security of persons of another
ethnic origin, criminal proceedings must be initiated with due diligence
and expedition. The State party should give this priority attention.
15. The Committee concludes
that comprehensive legislation and accompanying measures of implementation
will need to be introduced for the State party to meet all the requirements
of article 5 of the Convention.
16. The Committee expresses
its profound concern that detained persons of Arab ethnic origin are
disproportionately subjected to inhuman and degrading interrogation
under the Landau Commission rules and that the Supreme Court has failed
to declare this illegal.
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party reinforce its efforts to reduce the persisting
gap between the living standards and the involvement in national affairs
of the Jewish majority and the Arab minority, and that it does this
in a manner consistent with the measures adopted for assisting the integration
of Ethiopian Jews. The Committee encourages the State party to adopt
new labour legislation in order to secure the protection against ethnic
discrimination of the rights of Palestinians working in Israel on a
daily basis; the rights of migrant workers, including undocumented workers,
is also a matter of concern.
18. The right of many Palestinians
to return and possess their homes in Israel is currently denied. The
State party should give high priority to remedying this situation. Those
who cannot repossess their homes should be entitled to compensation.
19. While noting the special
budget for public housing in the Arab sector, the Committee remains
concerned about ethnic inequalities, particularly those centring upon
what are known as "unrecognized" Arab villages.
20. While recognizing the
great diversity of opinion within the Israeli public, and the Government's
actions to implement article 7 of the Convention, the Committee expresses
concern about the findings of social surveys which report that very
many Jewish young people believe that Arab citizens should not be accorded
21. The Committee hopes
to find in the next periodic report a comprehensive statement of the
Government's vision of the future of its Arab, Bedouin and Druse citizens,
together with an indication of how its objectives are to be attained
and a review of the effectiveness of its measures to combat discrimination.
Any statistics should show whether governmental expenditure and service
provision are proportionate to the size of the different ethnic groups.
22. In order to be able
to evaluate the implementation of article 6 of the Convention, the Committee
requests the State party to present information on the number of complaints,
judgements and compensation awards arising from racist acts, regardless
of their nature. At the same time, the Committee would like to be informed
about any other information, from whatever reliable source, about any
inequalities suggestive of discrimination in the administration of criminal
23. Since time did not permit
a full exchange of views on many of the issues raised by members at
the fifty-second session, the Committee requests the State party to
reflect further on the remaining issues and to furnish additional information
on these matters in the next report.
24. The tenth periodic report
of Israel was due on 2 February 1998. In accordance with article 9 of
the Convention the Committee will expect the submission of a combined
tenth and eleventh periodic report by 2 February 2000. The document
should constitute a comprehensive report, follow the reporting guidelines,
and take account of the Committee's general recommendations.
25. The Committee recommends
that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6,
of the Convention adopted at the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties.
26. It is also noted that
the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, and some members of the Committee request that
the possibility of making the declaration be considered.