Human Rights Watch (HRW) has today accused Israel of pursuing policies of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinians, that amount to crimes against humanity.
In a 213 page report, the organisation said its aim wasn’t to compare Israel with apartheid-era South Africa, but to assess “whether specific acts and policies” constitute apartheid as defined under international law.
The Israeli government has rejected the report, labelling it “preposterous” and “false.” Israel’s foreign ministry accused Human Rights Watch of having a longstanding anti-Israel agenda.
The report states:
Across Israel and the (Palestinian territories), Israeli authorities have pursued an intent to maintain domination over Palestinians by exercising control over land and demographics for the benefit of Jewish Israelis.
On this basis, the report concludes that Israeli officials have committed the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, as defined under the 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute.
In response, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Biton said;
“The purpose of this spurious report is in no way related to human rights, but to an ongoing attempt by HRW to undermine the State of Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people.”
Israel is a racist, apartheid and illegitimate state. Of course it has no “right” to exist. Israel’s only claim to legitimacy is based on a passage in the bible. God is said to have promised Abraham;
“…unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the Euphrates.”
Former Prime Minister Golda Meir once infamously said;
“This country exists as the accomplishment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be absurd to call its legitimacy into account.”
Call me absurd then.
The treaties that led to the UN resolution on the partition of Palestine in 1947, are just as dubious as the biblical promise. The Sykes-Picot agreement, signed by Britain and France in 1916 and the following years Balfour Declaration, were both illegal under international law.
Gaza has been described as the biggest open-air prison in the world.
The UN has passed thousands of resolutions denouncing Israel’s crimes, but no action is ever taken. If I had my way, Israel would be sanctioned back to the stone age. As Amnesty International reported last year:
Israel continued to impose institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians living under its rule in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It displaced hundreds of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a result of home demolitions and imposition of other coercive measures.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force during law enforcement activities in Israel and the OPT. Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians, including nine children, in the OPT; many were unlawfully killed while posing no imminent threat to life. Israel maintained its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, subjecting its residents to collective punishment and deepening the humanitarian crisis there.
It also continued to restrict freedom of movement of Palestinians in the OPT through checkpoints and roadblocks. The Israeli authorities arbitrarily detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity.
The authorities used a range of measures to target human rights defenders, journalists and others who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syrian Golan Heights. Violence against women persisted, especially against Palestinian citizens of Israel. The authorities denied asylum-seekers access to a fair or prompt refugee status determination process. Conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned.
Read today’s Human Rights Watch report here: