Inspired by South Africa’s freedom struggle, BDS aims to mobilize people all over the world to do what governments won’t — apply pressure on Israel until it respects all the rights of the Palestinian people.
A year ago, the UN published a landmark report on Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. It found “beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crimes of apartheid.”
This was no rash conclusion, but one the authors reached after meticulous analysis of the evidence and law — especially the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
Palestinians hailed the report as a milestone in their struggle to see Israel held accountable for its brutal, decades long denial of their rights. But Israel’s powerful patrons had other plans. Immediately, the US government, Israel’s biggest arms supplier, began to threaten the United Nations.
PayPal, which operates in 202 countries including war-torn Yemen, doesn’t offer its services to Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank — while making them available to Israeli settlers living in the same territory and using the same currency.
Google Maps brings [Palestinians] to settler roads, even putting them in danger by taking them to the entrance of a settlement. It’s an apartheid reality that you have streets for settlers only, and Google Maps functions to serve the Israelis and Israeli needs.
As governments across the globe increasingly use the internet to crack down on dissent, manipulate information and control access, the idea of the web as a space of democracy and freedom has all but withered.
In the past two years, Palestinians launched several campaigns accusing tech companies of discrimination and bias, with hashtags such as #FBCensorsPalestine and #PayPalForPalestine going viral.
Multinational tech companies such as Google, Facebook and PayPal have also been accused of complicity in rights violations for controlling how knowledge and services are provided, and who can access them.
This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.
Israel and its allies condemned the report and its authors. (Independent)
“The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.” —Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.
“The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.” — Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Newly-installed U.N. Secretary General Antonió Guterres demanded the retraction of the report, which U.N. Undersecretary General Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the UN-ESCWA, refused. She was subsequently dismissed, and the report was withdrawn. Read her resignation letter here. (New York Times, Haaretz)
After giving the matter due consideration, I realized that I too have little choice. I cannot withdraw yet another well-researched, well-documented U.N. work on grave violations of human rights, yet I know that clear instructions by the Secretary-General will have to be implemented promptly. A dilemma that can only be resolved by my stepping down to allow someone else to deliver what I am unable to deliver in good conscience.
Richard Falk, one of the authors of the report, Princeton University professor and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine, describes the thorough process behind the report in an editorial. (The Nation)
Our report concludes that Israel has deliberately fragmented the Palestinian people . . . relying on systematic discrimination . . . to maintain its control, while continuing to expand territorially at the expense of the Palestinian people. On the basis of these findings — backed up by detailed presentations of empirical data, including reliance on Israeli official sources — we conclude that the allegation of apartheid as applied to the Palestinian people is well founded.
If being an apartheid state means committing inhumane acts, systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, then Israel is guilty, a United Nations panel has determined in a new report.
“[Concluding that Israel has established an apartheid regime] is not an easy matter for a United Nations entity. In recent years, some have labeled Israeli practices as racist, while others have warned that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state. A few have raised the question as to whether in fact it already has.” — Rima Khalaf, U.N. Undersecretary General
The two concluded that Israel has established an apartheid regime aimed at dominating the Palestinians. Their recommendations include reviving the U.N. Center Against Apartheid, which closed in 1994 after South Africa ended its apartheid practices. . . .
Dividing the Palestinian people into four distinct groups, the authors write that although they are treated differently by Israel, they all face “the racial oppression that results from the apartheid regime.”
An Israeli comedy show host’s searing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral on social media, raking in over 5,000 shares in the two days since it was posted on the show’s Facebook page on Monday.
In the video, Assaf Harel of “Good Night With Asaf Harel” castigates Israelis for ignoring the occupation and claims that Israel is an apartheid state.
“Good Night,” which was aired by Channel 10, was one of Israel’s most controversial shows on mainstream television in recent years. In one instance, the show was fined after Harel ridiculed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exploiting his brother’s death for political gain.
The episode was “Good Night’s” last, as the show was not renewed for another season due to poor ratings, even though the show has gained a strong following on social media.
“I would like to see a two-state solution materialize, because I do think that’s the best way to secure peace in the region. I really don’t see a single state being a peaceful state, because initially there will be a Jewish minority that controls the state, and that will lead to the kind of tension that we had in apartheid South Africa. And later I suspect that when the Palestinian Arab majority becomes the government, they will be discriminating against the Jewish minority.
So I think those who believe that a single state will be a peaceful democratic state in which Jews and Arabs will live peacefully together are being very naïve. I do think that a two state solution offers the best solution for a peaceful resolution of the dispute. But as I’ve indicated, I think that Israel is making a two-state solution virtually impossible, so we have to come to terms with the possibility of a single state.”
One of the leading opponents to South African apartheid, and later a prominent critic of Israel, John Dugard spoke with New Matilda’s Michael Brull recently.
In legal circles in South Africa, Dugard’s contributions are widely known, and are treated with something approaching reverence. From the early 1970’s, Dugard wrote scathing critiques of judges and legal academics in apartheid South Africa. He argued that whilst judges claimed to be merely impartial upholders of the law, in fact they were actively making choices to defend infringements on civil liberties and injustice.
Dugard also acted as lawyer, or legal consultant, in numerous cases challenging apartheid law and practices. In 1978, Dugard was the founding director of the University of Witwatersrand’s Centre for Applied Legal Studies. This innocuous name masked its agenda: it was a human rights center.
For voicing his critiques, Dugard “faced opprobrium and even prosecution (for quoting Dr. Nthatho Motlana, a banned person), but he did not waver,” [wrote Edwin Cameron in the South African Journal on Human Rights.] “The clear voice of Dugard’s denunciation of apartheid collusion by lawyers and judges deserves credit as one of the reasons why today we have a law-based constitutional order whose legitimacy is politically unquestioned.”
The United States is paying a military and security price “every day” because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that the continued construction of settlements is liable to turn Israel into an apartheid state.
Donald Trump says he is considering retired Marine general James Mattis as a possible Defense Secretary:
Mattis has been outspoken, that the U.S. pays a “security price” in the Middle East because it is seen as biased in favor of Israel and that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state due to its occupation of the West Bank.
A former U.S. general said last week that the United States is paying a military and security price “every day” because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that the continued construction of settlements is liable to turn Israel into an apartheid state.
Gen. (ret.) James Mattis, who until two months ago headed the Central Command of the U.S. Army (CENTCOM) and commanded U.S. forces in the Middle East, made the comments at an Aspen Institute conference last Saturday…
Gen. (ret.) Mattis then sounded a prophecy of doom regarding what is liable to happen if a Palestinian state is not established. “I would tell you that the current situation is unsustainable,” he said, adding, “It’s got to be directly addressed. We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for it are starting to ebb because of the settlements, and where they’re at. [They] are going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”