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Is Israel an Apartheid State? South African Study Says Yes


January 22, 2011 - International law defines the crime of apartheid as acts against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized 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." The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa commissioned a study in 2009 to test the hypothesis that Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem constitutes apartheid. The findings concluded: Israel appears clearly to be implementing and sustaining policies intended to maintain its domination over Palestinians in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] and to suppress opposition of any form to those policies. The comparative analyses of South African apartheid practices threaded throughout the analysis of apartheid in this report illuminates, rather than defines, the meaning of apartheid....

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Is Israel an Apartheid State? South African Study Says Yes

Soysauce

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff


Daiky Kos, January 22, 2011

International law defines the crime of apartheid as acts against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized 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."

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa commissioned a study in 2009 to test the hypothesis that Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem constitutes apartheid.  The findings concluded:  

Israel appears clearly to be implementing and sustaining policies intended to maintain its domination over Palestinians in the OPT  [Occupied Palestinian Territories] and to suppress opposition of any form to those policies. The comparative analyses of South African apartheid practices threaded throughout the analysis of apartheid in this report illuminates, rather than defines, the meaning of apartheid.

Certainly differences are evident between apartheid as it was applied in South Africa and Israelĺs policies and practices in the OPT. Nonetheless, the two systems can be defined by similar dominant features.

The Executive Summary of the report says that the three pillars of apartheid in South Africa are all practiced by Israel in the OPT. In South Africa:

  1. the first pillar was to demarcate the population of South Africa into racial groups, and to accord superior rights, privileges and services to the white racial group.
  1. The second pillar was to segregate the population into different geographic areas, which were allocated by law to different racial groups, and restrict passage by members of any group into the area allocated to other groups.
  1.  And the third pillar was "a matrix of draconian 'security' laws and policies that were employed to suppress any opposition to the regime and to reinforce the system of racial domination, by providing for administrative detention, torture, censorship, banning, and assassination."

The Report finds that Israeli practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories exhibit the same three 'pillars' of apartheid:

The first pillar:

Israeli laws and policies establish Jewish identity that gives preferential treatment to Jews over non-Jews. Here's Human Rights Watch in a recent report:

Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report identifies discriminatory practices that have no legitimate security or other justification and calls on Israel, in addition to abiding by its international legal obligation to withdraw the settlements, to end these violations of Palestinians' rights.

The second pillar is reflected in "Israel's 'grand' policy to fragment the the West Bank and ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them. At the same time, Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory in Jewish-only colonies known as settlements. The report provides evidence of by Israel's extensive appropriation of Palestinian land, which continues toshrink the territorial space available to Palestinians; the complete closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT; the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank; and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis and bantustan-like territories carved out of the land available to the West Bank Palestinians.

The third pillar is Israel's pretense of 'security' to justify repressive  restrictions on Palestinian freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement to maintain complete control of the occupied population.  Again, from the Human Rights Watch report:

The case studies in this report show that discriminatory Israeli policies control many aspects of the day-to-day life of Palestinians who live in areas under exclusive Israeli control and that those policies often have no conceivable security justification. For example, Jubbet al-Dhib is a 160-person Palestinian village to the southeast of Bethlehem that is often accessible only by foot because its only connection to a paved road is a rough, 1.5 kilometer-long dirt track. Children from Jubbet al-Dhib must walk to schools in other villages several kilometers away because their own village has no school. Jubbet al-Dhib lacks electricity despite numerous requests to be connected to the Israeli electric grid, which Israeli authorities have rejected; Israeli authorities also rejected an internationally donor-funded project that would have provided the village with solar-powered streetlights.

Palestinians have paid a huge price for expressing their resistance to this occupation.  Fire Bad Tree Pretty's diary from yesterday detailed the sad reality of the thousands of Palestinians who have been detained in Israeli prisons with no legal recourse.  

I'll close with one of the winners from the Israeli Apartheid Video Contest sponsored by Stop the Wall and It Is Apartheid.  Ali (Wall) Jidaar is an inspiration and his story needs to be heard by all in the international community who care about the next generation in Israel and Palestine.



:: Article nr. 74182 sent on 22-jan-2011 21:53 ECT

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