- Written by Allison Deger Allison Deger
- Published: 16 March 2017 16 March 2017
A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report that found the country guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid,”[PDF]. ESCWA is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.
The findings of the report are non-binding and reflect contributions from professor of political science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Virginia Tilley and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk. It concluded UN organs should sanction Israel and coordinate with civil society groups in boycott campaigns. Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:
Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:
“[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
While neither Jews or Palestinians are racial groups, the report stated, the apartheid standard was met because ESCWA found a “racial character” to the policies of the Israeli government enacted toward both Jews and Palestinians. This is expressed inside of Israel through separate categories for a citizen’s “nationality” (Jewish or Arab) and in the occupied territories by the absence of citizenship for Palestinians.
Israel was said to have divided Palestinians into different spheres of governance, each with fewer rights than Jewish-Israelis. Sub-sections of the report outline Palestinians citizens of Israel, West Bank and Gaza residents, Jerusalem residents, and external refugees, all of whom have unequal rights in comparison to Jewish-Israeli citizens.
“Strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime,” ESCWA said. Individual treatment to each group may not meet the apartheid definition, when taken together the report said, it does.
The UN body regarded Israel as producing “one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring dominion over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category.”
- Written by Stanley L Cohen Stanley L Cohen
- Published: 07 March 2017 07 March 2017
Long before Israel erected separate communities, the United States perfected the art of the artificial divide.
Stanley L Cohen is an attorney and human rights activist who has done extensive work in the Middle East and Africa.
For years, Israel has sold, and we in the United States have bought, the cheap peel-away sticker that it is the "lone democracy" in the Middle East.
It has a nice, assuring ring to it, sort of like "opportunity" or "peace", whatever these chants may, in practice, mean. But, like beauty, it remains very much in the eye of the beholder, and like reality, sooner or later the truth surfaces, no matter how well its fiction is packaged.
We in the US are damn good at packaging ourselves, and our charade of equality and justice is second to none. We sell stuff; lots of it. Much of it false. Very much like a willing stepchild, Israel has learned from us that if you say something long enough with vigour, power and money to back it, it begins to take on a surreal life of its own, no matter how much reality puts the lie to its embroidery. Indeed, we are quite accomplished at obfuscation. We know it all too well. We've hidden behind the fog of it for so long that, even today, those who remind us that the earth is, in fact, not flat, remain heretics to be scorned. Have we found the weapons of mass destruction yet?
Long before Israel erected separate communities divided by will of law to segregate its Jewish citizens from its almost two million Palestinian Arab ones, the US perfected the art of artificial divide.
With the accuracy of delusion, from coast to coast, could be heard the refrain that race-based segregation was lawful as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal.
For decades, the legal fiction of "separate but equal" was the mantra that state and local governments, throughout the US, held out to justify the artificial, indeed lawful, separation of tens of millions of Americans on the basis of race and nothing more.
Whether in services, facilities, public accommodations, transportation, medical care, employment, voting booths or in schools, black and white were segregated under the cheap shibboleth that artificial isolation of the races insured equality, as long as the conditions of their separation were legally equal.
These laws came to be known simply as Jim Crow.
- Written by AFP in Jerusalem AFP in Jerusalem
- Published: 07 March 2017 07 March 2017
“The knesset [parliament] passed on its second and third readings the entry into Israel bill,” it said in a statement on Monday night.
“A visa will not be granted nor a residence permit of any kind to any person who is not an Israeli citizen or permanent resident if he, or the organisation or body in which he is active, has knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel or pledged to take part in such a boycott,” the statement said.
Israel has been faced with a boycott movement over its nearly 50-year occupation of the West Bank but it has lately intensified the diplomatic and legal fight against it.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement campaigns for a global boycott of Israel until, among other demands, the country withdraws from all occupied Palestinian territories. Israel sees the movement as a strategic threat and accuses it of antisemitism – a claim BDS denies.
- Written by NIAC Action NIAC Action
- Published: 06 March 2017 06 March 2017