UN Body Slams Israeli Apartheid
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Longstanding Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid constitute major international law breaches.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that “Israeli settlements (on occupied Palestinian land) are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development…”
The 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples condemned “colonialism in all its forms and manifestations,” including illegal settlements.
The 1973 Apartheid Convention called the practice “inhuman” state-sanctioned discriminatory racism — “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.”
Under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, apartheid persecution is a crime against humanity — “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group.”
Last month for the first time, a UN body formally called Israel a regime that exercises apartheid persecution of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.
The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) denounced Israel for failing to “ensure equal treatment for all persons on the territories under its effective control and subject to its jurisdiction” – in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
A joint statement by multiple Palestinian human rights group applauded CERD’s action, including Adalah, Addameer, Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Badil, the Civil Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, and others, saying:
“Palestinian, regional, and international human rights organizations welcome” the position taken by CERD — “for the first time (condemning) Israeli policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid over the Palestinian people…”
Last month, a joint statement by the above human rights groups together with others presented cold hard facts that since the 1948 NAKBA, “Israel instituted a series of discriminatory laws, policies, and practices that form the foundation of its institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.”
CERD and other UN bodies have no power to change unlawful practices of any nations, but condemning them improves the prospect for righting longstanding wrongs that flagrantly breach international law and cause appalling harm to countless millions of people.
CERD noted that nothing in Israeli Basic Laws prohibits racial discrimination, nothing that mandates equity and justice for everyone in the country and Occupied Territories.
Israel’s discriminatory Nation State Law (2018) calls the right of self-determination “unique to the Jewish people,” demeaning and denigrating adherents of other faiths, mainly Islam.
CERD noted that Palestinians face state-sponsored “limitations in the enjoyment of their right to work.”
They’re exploited and “concentrated in low-paying sector” jobs, have a “disproportionately poor health status…including shorter life expectancy and higher rates of infant mortality.”
“(S)ignificant gaps in the educational achievements between Arab students and Jewish students (exist), as well as (a) shortage of classrooms” for non-Jews.
CERD condemned Israeli “racist hate speech in public discourse, in particular by public officials, political and religious leaders, in certain media outlets, and in school curricula and textbooks.”
Israelis from pre-school to higher education are taught to hate Arabs.
Textbooks and teachers call them hostile, violent, deviant, cruel, immoral, bloodthirsty, vengeful and unfair — while Jews are called industrious, righteous, trustworthy, brave, and nonsense about God’s chosen people.
State-sponsored brainwashing begins at a very young impressionable age, why most Israelis believe the disinformation and Big Lies taught them — compounded by indoctrinating children to be warriors on the phony pretext of hostile enemies surrounding the Jewish state that don’t exist.
War is considered natural, military service considered a right of passage, including for women. Arabs are viewed as enemies of the state, treating them violently considered OK.
Notions of victimization, a siege mentality, uncompromising patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of Palestinians, and insensitivity to their suffering is drummed into the public mind before able to know right from wrong.
Israeli Jews are exposed to mind-manipulation propaganda daily — in school, at work, in public places, during religious activities, in symbols and imagery, as well as through the media.
In response to CERD’s condemnation of Israeli apartheid, Adalah said the following:
“The change in perception reflected in CERD’s conclusions has historical dimensions, since for the first time Israel is defined by a UN expert committee as a regime that exercises apartheid practices against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line,” adding:
“The policy of separating Jews from Palestinians – not only as a result of the operation of separate legal systems in the OPT, but also by enshrining racial segregation as a constitutional value – is in total violation of the Rome Convention, which defines apartheid as a crime against humanity.”
“The Jewish people’s exclusive right to self-determination in all territories under Israeli control, as laid down the Jewish Nation-State Law, along with the definition of Jewish settlement activity as a national value, indicates an intention to perpetuate racial segregation from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.”
“This could have far-reaching implications for defining the character of the Israeli regime by international legal bodies.”
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