STEPHEN LENDMAN | Clarion India
ACCORDING to the Rome Statute of the International Court, apartheid is a crime against humanity, a major breach of international law.
The Rome Statute’s Article 7 says “(t)he ‘crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
In 2007, then-UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine John Dugard said the following about Jewish state oppression of Palestinians:
Unlawful Israeli occupation “constitute(s) forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law,” adding:
“(L)egal consequences of a prolonged occupation with features of colonialism and apartheid” must be ruled on by the International Court of Justice to hold Israeli officials accountable for high crimes too serious to ignore.
In 2010, then-UN UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk said “apartheid that exists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories…makes the allegation increasingly credible despite the differences between the specific characteristics of South African apartheid and that of the Occupied Palestinian Territories regime.”
A report by Falk and Virginia Tilley titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” discussed longstanding Israeli state terror against millions of long-suffering Palestinians.
They concluded that Israel is an apartheid state. Operating extrajudicially, it’s waging slow-motion genocide against Palestinians.
They stressed that “(s)tates have a collective duty: (a) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful;”
“(b) not to aid or assist a State in maintaining an apartheid regime; and”
“(c) to cooperate with the United Nations and other States in bringing apartheid regimes to an end.”
Israeli crimes of war and against humanity are longstanding. As long as its culpable officials go unpunished, justice will never be served.
After over 70 years of committing virtually every high crime imaginable, accountability was never forthcoming.
Palestinian suffering continues without relief.
Days earlier, the Al Haq Human Rights group discussed newly introduced Israeli apartheid legislation that criminalizes anti-occupation human rights work.”
The measure broadens the definition of foreign agents.
Under Israel’s Penal Law, “anyone who knowingly contacted a foreign agent without” explaining why faces up to 15 years imprisonment.
Article 114C defines a foreign agent as follows: “anyone who can be reasonably suspected to have engaged, or have been sent to engage, by or on behalf of a foreign state or terrorist organization, in the collection of secret intelligence or in other acts that might endanger Israel’s security, or anyone who can be reasonably suspected of membership in a terrorist organization, of connection to it, or of being a proxy to it.”
The new measure replaces the term “foreign state” with “foreign political entity” that can include virtually anything Israel designates this way.
According to Al Haq, broadening the definition of a foreign agent by Israel “shrink(s) space in which human rights organizations are trapped,” adding:
The new measure targets organizations “that cooperate with or receive support from the EU and the PA.”
“It seeks to further curtail the work of human rights organizations through portraying our work as contacts with foreign entities.”
Human rights groups like Al Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, B’Tselem, and many others risk “Israeli persecution, accusations and threats.”
The proposed police state measure criminalizes human rights work in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Along with anti-BDS legislation and other Israeli police state laws, the new measure “exert(s) pressure on the EU and on European partners to cease or condition their support for human rights organizations.”
Separately on Monday, B’Tselem reported that Palestinian residents of South Hebron Hills face expulsion from their neighborhoods and homes to make way for exclusive Jewish development.
To drive them out, the Jewish state declared the area in question “Firing Zone 918” — code language for wanting Jews replacing Arabs.
About 1,000 Palestinians await an Israeli High Court ruling likely to come down against them — like countless times before.
B’Tselem quoted Breaking the Silence executive director Avner Gvaryahu, saying the following:
“(W)e will not stand by while the State of Israel declares hundreds of people illegal residents in their own homes.”
“We will not stay silent when soldiers are sent to expel people from their homes, in which they lived long before the first Israeli soldier set foot in the West Bank.”
“We invite everyone to come here with us and look these people in the eye.”
“That is more than the policymakers, who are forcing entire families to live in constant fear of being driven out of their homes, have ever done.”
“This is expulsion. This is occupation.”
B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad said Israel “wishes to expel all these families, demolish their homes and destroy their livelihoods, on one pretext or another.”
“Declaring the area a firing zone was the excuse; cleansing the territory of Palestinians is the goal. This criminal plan must be stopped.”
What’s explained above and countless other acts of repression since establishment of the Jewish state reflect what that scourge of apartheid is all about.
It shows that Palestinians won’t ever live free in their own homes, on their own land, in their own country until apartheid ends and Israeli officials culpable for high crimes are held accountable once and for all.