The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, took off his diplomatic gloves last week. The briefing he presented Aug. 29 to members of the UN Security Council was a biting moral and legal indictment of Israel.
Mladenov accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government of conducting a de facto one-state policy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. He complained that Israel was making a mockery of the July 1 report issued by the Middle East Quartet on Israel's systematic demolition of Palestinian homes and illegal construction of West Bank settlements and outposts. Mladenov stressed that there was no difference between Jewish settlements erected on “state lands” with the Israeli government’s blessing and those built without permits on private Palestinian land. He equated a new construction plan in the Jewish settlement town of Kiryat Arba to an expansion of construction in Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.