OPINION

Israel must be recognised as an Apartheid state

Israel is An Apartheid State

In 2017, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Rima Khalaf issued a report stressing out that Israel is an Apartheid regime and has developed a sustained system of oppression against Palestinians. ([1])  Later on, Khalaf was asked to go back on the report. However, Khalaf refused. Instead, she preferred submit her resignation to kill the human conscience inside her.

The Knesset of Israel passed on July 19, 2018 a new law called the Nation-State Law in which Palestinians and Arabs inside what is so-called “Israel” are excluded. Furthermore, this law stated that “Hebrew is the sole official language, the Jewish people have the exclusive right to national self-determination, and the “state views the development of Jewish settlements as a national value, and will act to encourage and promote their establishment and consolidation”. This law, which fails to mention the words “democracy” or “equality” even once, constitutionally codifies Jewish supremacy and tells Palestinians:  you’re not welcome here.” ([2])

Recently, Netanyahu has tweeted on his twitter account that “Israel is not a state for its citizens, and according to the Nation-State law that we [Israeli Knesset] passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people- and its alone”([3]) . His racist tweet has affirmed once again the racist ideology on which Israel has been founded. It is worth mentioning that his comment came in “correction” response to Rotem Sela, an Israeli celebrity host-model-actress, when she commented on Miri  Regev’s revelation of her fears that the coming elections in Israel would give a chance for Arabs in Israel to take part in the government and that Israel is not a state for all its citizens .

Apartheid is A Crime Against Humanity

On October 23,1973,The UN General Assembly recognized Apartheid as a crime against humanity and defined it as” inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination 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.” ([4])

Apartheid first appeared in South Africa the same year the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) began, that is in 1948. However, Apartheid in SA ended in 1990, some say in 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the first black president in South Africa. But it has not ended in Palestine yet.

In fact, what Palestinians have been suffering from since 1948 is more than just a mere occupation. Israel is a multi-tiered system of oppression. It is a settler-colonial power and an Apartheid regime. Still remains the question: What is the world going to do about it although it is crystal clear that Israel is an Apartheid state and even more?

 Great Return March

Next week ,precisely on March 30, remarks the first annual anniversary of the Great Return March which was kicked off on March 30, 2018 in correspondence with celebrating the Land Day on the same day.

The Great Return March is a nonviolent grass-root mobilization which aimed at peacefully protesting the Israeli settler-colonialism, occupation and Apartheid regime against Palestinians. But most importantly, it aimed at demanding the UN General Assembly’s resolution 194 which clearly stipulated the right of Palestinians to return to their usurped homelands and to compensation for all the suffering they have been enduring in addition to compensation for all those who do not want to return –be implemented . ([5])

Israeli soldiers have not understood the language of peace. Instead, they opened live ammunition internationally prohibited against unarmed civilians. They also threw hundreds of gas canisters over the heads of the protesters.

“Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 210 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 18,000 people, according to health officials in Gaza.”(5)

Among them were paramedics wearing their white coats clearly stating that they are doing nothing but helping the injured. Razan Najjar, the icon of mercy and humanity was one of the victims who were mercilessly murdered.

Israeli soldiers also targeted journalists and killed Yaser Murtaja although he was wearing his press vest with the word PRESS typed in big font size. This illustrated how much the Apartheid state of Israel fears the truth. It did not and still does not want the world to know about what is truly going on the Israeli-constructed fences in the Gaza Strip.

The killing is not confined to shooting at adults only. Mohammed Ayyoub, who was only 14, was killed in cold blood in broad daylight.  Moreover, Israel took away life from Wisal Sheikh Khalil, a Palestinian teenager and the list goes on and on.

UN independent investigation committee: What Israel is Doing Against Palestinians in The GRM Mounts to A Crime Against Humanity

In an independent investigation inquiry on the Great Return March and the massacre perpetrated by Israel particularly in the year of 2018, the investigation committee, which is mandated by the Human Rights Council, has found that “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity” ([6])

The committee has also said that ““There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities,” said Sara Hossain. “Many young persons’ lives have been altered forever. 122 people have had a limb amputated since 30 March last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

Israeli Apartheid Week

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international event that takes place in more than 200 cities around the world.  Within these days, IAW is being held in so many cities to remind the people around the world of the nature of policies and system Israel maintains. It also calls upon conscientious people to heed the boycott, divest and sanction call known widely as (BDS) and mass crowds to do more lobbying and boycotting campaigns to help isolate Israel from the world and dismantle the Apartheid regime it enshrines. The activities of the IAW includes giving lectures, conducting cultural and artistic events,  showing movies and inviting speakers among others. The logo of this year’s IAW week is “Stop Arming Colonialism” in a call to freeze the military industry with Israel and impose a military embargo on it until it complies with the international law. ([7])

 

 ([1])   https://www.unescwa.org/news/escwa-launches-report-israeli-practices-towards-palestinian-people-and-question-apartheid

([2])https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/23/netanyahu-israeli-apartheid-palestinians-nation-state-law?fbclid=IwAR2bF4rcFQX7CRr4RIKMS_RmwZGMtPwOVZ4nk8uV9ivOHx8-hiuUE_hucuI

([3])https://mondoweiss.net/2019/03/netanyahu-israel-citizens/?fbclid=IwAR0AMhl5Se7uEJDwgn0r7RETTMXudinhjBmqJIU-7MIQyYeEZhMkP4b6v5U

 

([4])http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html?fbclid=IwAR3vMbpJTRWQwxygZ9R-TY8wOJzW_2-A7q1dte7c7Y4TLELFIn5a9yiZCzk

 

([5])https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/gaza-protest-latest-updates-180406092506561.html?fbclid=IwAR1S-BzS_NNLw5iEXkx_k3rfN7IP_qPcBLxcAQuqBrU_psLNBc_kup3X-qw

([6])https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=24226&LangID=E&fbclid=IwAR1UirLm9_nkImCqU11siZIOnyZan5Y0YDt_6CySBuJmj7inz2H1bA-qNmM

 

([7])https://bdsmovement.net/news/call-out-15th-annual-israeli-apartheid-week

 

 

Aya Alghazzawi

BDS activist from Gaza- Palestine

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