On 23 March 2011 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the United Nations Rapporteur Richard Falk (Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University) told the world organization’s Human Rights Council that the “continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation..” In fact, he continued, the present process “can only be described in its cumulative impact as ethnic cleansing.” Falk concluded by asking the UN Human Rights Council to request an investigation by the International Criminal Court into whether Israeli actions in the West Bank amount to “colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing inconsistent with international humanitarian law.”
This is not a particularly startling or rare point of view. There are many well versed Israelis, including several reporters for Haaretz (such as Amira Hass and Gideon Levy), who would probably agree with Falk’s position. There are millions of people around the world who are willing to actively boycott Israel due to, in part, its illegal settlement policies. And, the UN Human Rights Council itself has, in the past, repeatedly condemned Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank of Palestine.