|ALJazeera Inside Story|
As Israel severs ties with UN human rights bodies, we ask if it can lay claim to being the only democracy in the region.
Inside Story Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 09:59
On Monday, the Israeli foreign ministry said that it had cut working relations with the UN Human Rights Council.
The Israeli government said it will also prevent a UN team from entering its territory to assess the effects of settlements on Palestinian rights.
The Israeli decision came one day after Israel's High Court of Justice rejected a compromise deal between the state and the people of the West Bank settlement of Migron on Sunday.
The deal would have prevented Israel from having to dismantle the settlement following a Supreme Court ruling. The court ordered the demolition of Migron because it was built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
Israel has also been condemned for its use of administrative detention, which is detention without trial, and detainees are prevented from challenging it because they are not given any reason or shown any evidence against them.
Detainees are also not told when they will be released, and although the maximum period is six months, in practice it can be renewed indefinitely.
For decades, Israel has had uneasy relations with the UN, in part due to the pro-Palestinian majority in the General Assembly.
The US has used its veto power many times to block anti-Israel resolutions in the Security Council.
So, is Israel violating Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Territories? What does this tell us about the Israeli government and its policy of settlement expansion in Palestinian territory? And, does that contradict its claim of being the only democracy in the region?
Joining Inside Story with presenter Hazem Sika to discuss these questions and more are guests: Jessica Montell, the executive director of human rights group B'Tselem; Akiva Eldar, the chief political columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz; and Mark Ellis, the executive director of the International Bar Association.