UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Israeli Apartheid ??

The crime of Apartheid was defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as a form of crime against humanity. The Apartheid Convention was the ultimate step in the condemnation of apartheid as it not only declared that apartheid was unlawful because it violated the Charter of the United Nations, but in addition it declared apartheid to be criminal. The Apartheid Convention was adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973, by 91 votes in favour, four against (Portugal, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) and 26 abstentions. It came into force on 18 July 1976. As of August 2008, it has been ratified by 107 States.

The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid had it roots in the opposition of the United Nations to the discriminatory racial policies of the South African Government – known as apartheid – which lasted from 1948 to 1990. Apartheid was annually condemned by the General Assembly as contrary to Articles 55 and 56 of the Charter of the United Nations from 1952 until 1990; and was regularly condemned by the Security Council after 1960.

The Apartheid Convention declares that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that “inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination” are international crimes (art. 1). Article 2 defines the crime of apartheid –“which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa” – as covering “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them”. It then lists the acts that fall within the ambit of the crime. These include murder, torture, inhuman treatment and arbitrary arrest of members of a racial group; deliberate imposition on a racial group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction; legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate residential areas for racial groups; the prohibition of interracial marriages; and the persecution of persons opposed to apartheid.

A proudly racist segment of Israeli thought has been mainstreamed and acceptable, saying things about Palestinians (or rather 'Arabs,' since they decline the use of the term 'Palestinian', which implies the existence of Palestine) that would have made American Jim Crow partisan cringe with shame. The result is anti-democratic laws, street harassment of Arabs, immigrants, and dissidents, racist fear-mongering as a matter of routine political practice, and the repression of an already compliant media.

Critics argue that not to see apartheid in Israel is simply to not see Israel. Jimmy Carter, who served as the 38th President of the United States, wrote the book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" published by Simon & Schuster in November 2006. The title bluntly suggests along with the very essence of the narrative that Israel's policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is the core obstacle to the elusive goal of peace. Carter said "The book is about Palestine, the occupied territories, and not about Israel. Forced segregation in the West Bank and terrible oppression of the Palestinians create a situation accurately described by the word. I made it plain in the text that this abuse is not based on racism, but on the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land."

Carter addressed sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Carter makes it very clear that in his view Israel is largely to blame for the problems facing both Palestinians and Israelis, with the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and Israel's continued (to this day) settlement-building that is stealing more and more land and resources (particularly water) from the Palestinians.

Pulling no punches, Carter prescribed steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism. The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president wrote. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key UN resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored.

The head of the U.N. West Asia Commission resigned under pressure, after refusing to withdraw a controversial report that said Israel has established an "apartheid regime" that discriminates against Palestinians. Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian who heads the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), told reporters 17 March 2017 in Beirut that she could not accept a demand by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for her to withdraw the report. "I asked him to rethink his decision, he insisted, so I submitted my resignation from the U.N.," she said. The report titled "Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid" drew immediate criticism from U.N., U.S. and Israeli officials.

Khalaf, who was also a UN undersecretary-general, said the document "concludes scientifically and according to international law that Israel has established an apartheid regime." She called the report "the first of its kind" from a U.N. agency and said it brings to light "the crimes that Israel continues to commit against the Palestinian people, which amount to war crimes against humanity." UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it was published without any prior consultations with the U.N. secretariat and that it does not reflect the views of the secretary-general. The 75-page report was deleted from the ESCWA website by U.N. officials, but copies are still circulating online.

Both Israel's U.N. envoy, Danny Danon, and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, welcomed Khalaf's departure. "Anti-Israel activists do not belong in the U.N. It is time to put an end to the practice in which U.N. officials use their position to advance their anti-Israel agenda," Danon said. "When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the U.N.," Haley said, "it is appropriate that the person resign."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pledge to annex up to a third of the West Bank in line with President Donald Trump's Mideast plan would make it virtually impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state. Critics say that would force Israel to choose between being an apartheid state or granting equal rights to all. "You close the door to the two-state solution, I could very well look at this positively, if we're clearly opening the door to a one-state democratic solution," Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Razzaz told the UK's Guardian newspaper in an interview published 21 July 2020. "But nobody in Israel is talking about that, and so we cannot just sugar-coat what they're doing. Who's talking about the one-state solution in Israel? They're talking about apartheid in every single sense," he added.

Equality between Israelis and Palestinians would undermine the Zionist project founded on the idea of inequality between the colonial settlers and the native population. Israeli hardliners fear that equality would allow Palestinians to achieve demographic and eventually political dominance.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 03-07-2022 15:25:49 ZULU