WELCOME TO CHANUKAH APARTHEID

During the holiday of Hanukkah, the town of Afula’s municipal park will be off limits to Arabs. The park was already closed Nov. 24 to visitors from nearby villages. Only the Jewish residents of Afula were allowed to enjoy time with their families in this public space. This Hanukkah will be the first holiday in which access to the park is limited to Jews.

If any European, Arab, African or Indian leader had to publicly announce that a nation should be for their people only, and that a war would result with anyone who disagreed, these same Zionist extremists and their fellow Jewish Supremacists in the media would relentlessly attack and denigrate them.

Israeli mayor swears to keep his city Jewish

During the holiday of Hanukkah, the town of Afula’s municipal park will be off limits to Arabs. The park was already closed Nov. 24 to visitors from nearby villages. Only the Jewish residents of Afula were allowed to enjoy time with their families in this public space. This Hanukkah will be the first holiday in which access to the park is limited to Jews.

Racist phenomena such as this did not start in Afula with the passing of the Nationality Law, anchoring the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. It is the nature of laws like this one to have a particular impact on regions that already lean in a certain direction and are encouraged to continue following this path by the establishment. Afula, known as the “Capital of the Valley,” was first founded in 1925 to provide services for the Jewish agricultural settlements that had been established in the Jezreel Valley in the early 20th century. There are also several Arab villages in the region, such as Nein and Sulam, and it is close to the West Bank and to Arab towns and villages across the Green Line. Terrorist attacks in Afula over the past few decades tended to originate across the Green Line. As such, they did little to foster any warm feelings between the people of Afula and their Palestinian neighbors.

When Israeli Arabs, who could not find housing in the neighboring villages, turned to Afula, they often encountered hostility and rejection. In 2015, a tender for 45 housing units in Afula was released, with all of the units going to Arabs. Local residents appealed to the District Court in Nazareth, which eventually overturned the tender, claiming that prices had been coordinated among the participants. In August 2017, the Supreme Court overturned the District Court’s ruling. The incident, in which the tender’s results were invalidated, only to be restored, exacerbated tensions between the Jewish population and local Arabs, whether they already lived in the city or wanted to join them there.

When tensions related to security abated, so did tensions between the communities. The city’s residents were wise and pragmatic, dancing between the raindrops. They expressed understanding for the concerns of Afula’s Jewish population, trying to ease tensions between the sides. It wasn’t easy. I had quite a few discussions with them over the past few years and can testify as to how difficult the situation was for them. It was obvious back then that anyone who brought as much as a match to the city could end up lighting a major fire.

The mayoral elections Oct. 30 revolved around questions pertaining to the local Arab population. Avi Alkabetz, who already served briefly as mayor several years earlier, made no effort to hide the fact that he was promoting a decidedly anti-Arab agenda. He knew exactly what he was doing, too. Preventing Arabs from living in Afula and banning Arabs access to the park that he built as mayor were just about the only issues in his election campaign.

Throughout his campaign, there were already several violent clashes between Jews and Arabs over residency rights. When a Jewish resident dared to sell his apartment to an Arab last June, demonstrations immediately erupted against him. He soon announced that he withdrew from the sale, but that was not enough to placate the angry mob. They demanded that he appear in public to prove that he had pulled out of the contract. Only then did the demonstrators ease up on him.

Last September, just three months after that incident and in the heat of the election campaign, an Israeli Arab, who had purchased an apartment in the town, had “Death to the Arabs!” spray-painted on his door. It was just a few weeks after the Nationality Law had passed. It was soon learned that the 25-year-old Arab had served in the Israel Defense Forces’ Givati Brigade, participated in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and upon his release, decided that he wanted to live in Afula’s Givat HaMoreh neighborhood. But Afula believes that all Arabs are equal. It refused to discriminate against one but not the other.

Upon his re-election as mayor, Alkabetz swore in the members of his town’s city council from his coalition, but also from the opposition. According to the law, the oath of office that they take includes a declaration of loyalty to the State of Israel and a commitment to fulfill their duties on the city council in good faith. But Alkabetz wanted more, and demanded that they add to the oath by committing to preserve Afula’s Jewish character. Whenever anyone raised an eyebrow, the old-new mayor explained that there is nothing wrong with adding to the official oath as established by law.

I was sworn into the Knesset on five separate occasions. On three other occasions, I took the oath of office as a member of the government. In some cases, there were Knesset members — mainly from the ultra-Orthodox and Arab factions — who requested to add a word or two to the formula prescribed by law. In each case, the speaker of the Knesset announced that no one may add or remove a word from the official oath, and that anyone who failed to swear the oath of office as determined by law would be prevented from assuming office. A reasonable interpretation and application of the law could overturn the aforementioned innovation introduced by Alkabetz. However, when the town of Afula was asked about this by the Haaretz newspaper, it responded that adding words to a legally binding oath would not impinge on the legal commitment of the city council members. As if to bolster its position, the city then added that this legal position has the support of the Ministry of Interior. The newspaper then asked for the opinion of jurists. Some responded that the passing of the Nationality Law may be sufficient backing for this additional declaration, even though there was no basis for it before the law was passed.

Do you understand what’s going on? The Interior Ministry is currently headed by a convicted felon, who is about to go back to court to face charges of fraud, violation of trust and money laundering. Yet he is providing moral support to a mayor who was elected to his position after inciting against the Arab population and waging a racist campaign against them. And the sun continues to shine, as if this is the way of the world.

Feigning innocence, Alkabetz said that he is absolutely shocked to hear himself described as a racist. In a conversation with Al-Monitor he said that quite a few Arabs work for the city, and that relations with them are good. On the other hand, he continued, Jews should not sell apartments to Arabs, because that could alter the Jewish character of the city. As for closing the park to Arab citizens, this is not the slightest bit racist either, he argued, since Jews, who do not live in Afula, will not have access to the park on Sabbaths and holidays either. Everyone will be required to show ID upon entering the park, and if they are not residents of Afula, they will be asked to leave.

When the Netanyahu government first passed the Nationality Law, its spokespeople argued that there was nothing new in it. It was simply a collection of clauses from existing laws intended to highlight the Jewish character of the country and the special relationship that the Jewish people have with it. There was no reason for the outcry, or so it was said, since the law did nothing more than reflect the existing situation, in terms of the official language and other matters. To anyone who didn’t realize what the law was about and to all those who helped to get it passed, it should now be quite obvious what the law really means.

Image by Carlos Latuff

NOW IT’S ILLEGAL TO BEAUTIFY APARTHEID

The irony continues …..

First read THIS post

Palestinian officials said Israeli border police arrested the two artists who crafted the large painting, now on display at a separation barrier in Bethlehem

Artists painting a mural depicting Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi. AFP

Israel Arrests Italian Artists Who Painted a West Bank Mural of Ahed Tamimi

Israeli border police on Saturday arrested two Italian graffiti artists who were painting a mural of a jailed Palestinian teenager, Ahed Tamimi, on the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem in the West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.

Tamimi, now 17, was sent to prison for assault after being filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier late last year, when she was 16. She is due to be released on Sunday.

Tamimi became a heroine to Palestinians after the Dec. 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.

An Israeli police spokesman did not return a call for comment.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that Israeli forces had arrested the two Italian artists and a Palestinian who was with them.

 

SOURCE

‘LIBERAL’ ZIONISM IN DEFENSE OF APARTHEID

I have always maintained that there is no such thing as a ‘liberal zionist’ …. Here’s proof of that.

But the truth is, the Nation State bill is not overturning the applecart. In fact, it’s reaffirming some of the key ideas that always lay at the heart of the Zionist project, bringing about the correct balance of “Jewish” and “democratic” that has always been the secret sauce that makes Israel work.

Watch this short video prepared by Rabbi Brant Rosen

On the Fallacy of “Liberal Zionism”

Everything You’ve Heard About Israel’s Nation State Bill Is Wrong

Israel’s new Nation State Law, which passed last week with the aim of affirming the country’s Jewish character, has come under considerable fire.

The new legislation is made up of mostly symbolic declarations that reaffirm the symbolism, calendar, and meaning of the “Jewish State.”

And it took about eleven seconds before critics went ballistic.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of Knesset and the former aide to PLO leader Yasser Arafat, declared “with shock and sorrow the death of democracy.” He was joined in his condemnation by other opposition members who shouted “Apartheid!” as they tore up the law defiantly. The chief legal counsel of ACRI, the Israeli equivalent of the ACLU, agreed. “This is a racist law,” he pronounced.

Nor was the umbrage limited to Israeli activists. The New York Times published no fewer than four different pieces, each more critical than the last.

While the Times stopped short of calling the bill racist, one of its pieces opened with an outright falsity, claiming that the law declared that “only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country”— when in fact the law explicitly says “national self-determination,” something entirely different from individual freedoms (more on that later).

In its main coverage of the new legislation, New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Halbfinger gestured towards a different, widespread criticism of the bill, casting the bill as just another step in Israel’s inexorable march into darkness.

“Wrapping up its business before a long summer recess, the right-wing, religious coalition that rules Israel’s Parliament moved aggressively this week to push through its polarizing agenda, piling up points at the expense of its already weakened foes,” he wrote.

But the truth is, the Nation State bill is not overturning the applecart. In fact, it’s reaffirming some of the key ideas that always lay at the heart of the Zionist project, bringing about the correct balance of “Jewish” and “democratic” that has always been the secret sauce that makes Israel work.

And a closer look at the criticism the bill has engendered will reveal it to be nothing more than prefabricated outrage from Israeli opposition parties, American Jewish liberals, and the usual chorus of anti-Zionists and anti-Semites.

To be sure, each of these groups have different core interests and each believes different things. But all have become totally reflexive in their rejection of anything coming out of the current government. It is, in fact, hard to imagine that in the current political climate, there could have been any version of the Nation State bill coming from this government that would not have set off alarms.

Before diving in, a note about who this article is for, and who it’s not for. If you have been vociferously denouncing the law but have not read it yet (it’s a quick read); if you believe it doesn’t matter what’s in the law because its passage by a Right-Wing Israeli Government qualifies it for your fury; if you are receiving a salary or other compensation to criticize Israel; or if you simply despise Israel—this piece is not for you.

But if you’re a fair-minded person who’s troubled by the noise surrounding the law, or if you’ve read it but don’t understand why it needed to be passed, I have a lot to tell you.

o, what’s actually in the law? When you look more closely, it’s really not very controversial — or at least, it shouldn’t be.

Most mundanely, it ratifies the Hebrew calendar as the official holiday schedule of the State of Israel and it establishes Independence Day, Memorial Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day as holidays, too. It also reaffirms Israel’s special connection to diaspora Jewry. None of this is new.

Among its more talked-about provisions, however, was the clause about the Hebrew language, which for the first time was made into Israel’s sole official language, a status it has shared with Arabic up til now.

Critics have said that in the new bill, Arabic has been “demoted.” And at a highly abstract level, they are right.

And yet, the law is careful to clarify that the Arabic language will not only be granted “special status,” but also that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”

Now, the primacy of Hebrew in the Jewish State is an obvious matter, and has been since Israel’s inception. It is the language of public discourse, of Knesset deliberations (including speeches of Arab members of Knesset), of the nightly news, of the culture, of the courts, of university classes, and of the laws themselves. Ratifying this is something quite ordinary, which democratic countries like Spain and France have done long ago.

Furthermore, the clarifying clause makes it impossible for the demotion of Arabic to be anything other than symbolic. To turn this into “the end of democracy” is nonsense.

Similarly offensive to critics was the clause according to which “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

This, too, is almost synonymous with the very idea of a Jewish state. What could a right of “national” self-determination to non-Jewish communities inside Israel possibly mean other than ending the Jewish state as such?

More to the point, what democratic country on earth offers national self-determination to twenty percent of its citizens? With few and minor exceptions, the U.S. gives no minorities any such right. In Israel, such a right is something the Jewish majority has never granted and never promised, and never could have or should have, since day one.

This clause is not a violation of democratic principle, much less “racist” or “Apartheid,” so long as individual rights continue to be guaranteed. And they are, through the other Basic Laws that make up Israel’s constitutional reality.

Similarly baffling were objections to the law’s determination that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” No doubt, in the context of today’s politics, anything about Jerusalem smells like jumping on the Trump-Bibi bandwagon.

Yet there is nothing at all new in it. The hope that some may have of internationalizing the Western Wall or dismantling the sprawling urban neighborhoods of Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev has never been more than a fantasy.

At the same time—and this is crucial—the law does not define Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, thereby leaving fully open the possibility that, when the geopolitical time is right, major Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem like Isawiyyeh, Silwan, or Jabel Mukkaber could become part of a future Palestinian State by simply redefining the city’s map.

What many in the West fail to understand is the role that Jerusalem has played in Israel’s self-definition since well before the Six Day War that led to the city’s unification under Israeli rule. There’s a reason why the IDF risked a lot to take the strategically unimportant eastern Jerusalem in 1967, and why Jerusalem, but not the West Bank, was effectively annexed in 1980.

Naomi Shemer’s song “Jerusalem of Gold”—one of the most iconic songs in Israeli history—became popular before the city was reunified. Regardless of international recognition, and in the face of global disregard, Israel declared Jerusalem its capital within two years of its independence, and has insisted on it ever since.

Finally, critics were angered by the bill’s declaration that “Jewish settlement” be “a national value” that the state will continue to promote.

Once again, distilling reality from projected fear is crucial here. The word being translated as “settlement” is hityashvut, which to any Israeli ear refers more to the Galilee and the Negev and the history of building new Jewish communities a century ago across the country than it does to the West Bank.

Yes, it is true that a major coalition partner, The Jewish Home, would love to claim a victory for the settlers of Judea and Samaria; that’s politics. But it’s the courts, not the politicians, who will interpret the law; and there is nothing in the phrasing that even hints at the West Bank; historically charged terms such as “in the Land of Israel” are nowhere to be found.

Again, you can decide that Jews should never have been encouraged to settle in their historic homeland, and the idea of a place on earth that continues to encourage it—even offering them citizenship and financial benefits for doing so—is something you can’t live with.

But then you really shouldn’t call yourself a Zionist, or even a supporter of Israel, in any meaningful sense. Building a Jewish homeland—through sovereignty, through culture, and through settlement—has always been the core purpose of the country. Should it really not appear in its Basic Laws?

Nor does anything in the law make Israel unusual for a European-style democracy. France, a country that granted equal rights to all a century before America freed its slaves, nonetheless has a single national language. The United Kingdom has an established church, as well as a hereditary monarchy. Germany will put you in prison if you deny the Holocaust.

Limits on pristine and abstract rights, especially the right to feel equally central to the narrative of the democracy in which you live, are acceptable because they are limited, and because people are complicated and human, with a real history that inevitably influences the core principles of their social contract.

Even democracies have a right to enshrine in law the things that make them unique.

To suggest that Israel alone shouldn’t be allowed to is self-evidently absurd, and smells a lot more like political noise-making than honest criticism.

It’s true that Israel’s Nation State law was passed by a right-leaning national government. But a much more meaningful way to look at it is in its historical and constitutional context.

This law has been in the works at least since the early 2000s, a time when two major forces arose that threatened the Zionist project as it was historically understood. The first was the rise of “post-Zionism,” a small but passionate intellectual-political movement that explicitly repudiated the idea of a “Jewish state” and sought to transform the country into a “state of all its citizens” by stripping it of any connection to Jewish history, peoplehood, or symbolism.

The second, more important factor was the “constitutional revolution” led by then-Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, which recognized earlier Basic Laws as having constitutional status, and which culminated in the passing of two new Basic Laws (Basic Law Human Dignity and Liberty, and Basic Law: Freedom of Employment) that established the core rights of Israeli citizens, Jewish or not.

These basic laws were not at all a bad thing. The fact is, Israel is both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy, and basic freedoms must be protected for all.

But defenders of Zionism correctly noted that such laws would have to be balanced with similar protections of Israel’s flag and anthem and the original vision of the country as not just a refuge for oppressed Jews but also as the embodiment of the aspirations of the Jewish people.

Much of what we see in the law is the direct result of the big debates that happened back then—debates I was directly involved in.

The bottom line is that Israel is the Jewish State, and this law tells us what that means, just as other Basic Laws tell us what goes into its democratic foundations.

You can freely dislike the idea of an ethnically or historically based democracy for a specific people. But know that it’s not fascism, it’s not the rise of ethno-national-populist-alt-right-MAGA-Bannonism. That’s just a category error—one that a lot of people really want you to make right now.

Israel’s Nation state bill reflects rather, the constitutional reality of nearly every European democracy, and European democracy has always been a little different from American democracy.

If you have any interest in understanding what’s really a fascinating and historic development in a country far away, the one I actually live in, tune out the noise.

ISRAEL IS OFFICIALLY DIVIDED BY LAW

The ‘Only Democracy’ in the Middle East has changed its tune officially

Image by Latuff


 

Israel's nation-state law

THREE AGAINST TWO MILLION …. AND YET THEY ARE WINNING

In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.

 

Image by Marina Grechanik.

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Khalid Amayreh responds to the Three Zionist shapers of  Trump’s Palestine policy 
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In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.
 
The three Zionist supremacists, whose loyalty is first and foremost to international Zionism and only second to   Donald Trump,  accused the Palestinian Islamic Resistance group, Hamas, of producing “misery for the people of Gaza”, saying that unless Hamas unilaterally recognized Israel, abided by previous agreements and renounced resistance to Israeli aggression “there is no good option.” The trio, who ostensibly adopt the political views of the Israeli far right, including the Jewish settlement movement, offered to give humanitarian aid to Palestinians in return for recognizing Israel and terminating all forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation army.
 
 The 11-year draconian siege is apparently meant to punish Gazans for electing Hamas which refuses to recognize Israel for religious and moral reasons.
 
This writer is thoroughly familiar with a long list of US diplomats and peace envoys to the Middle East  ever since William Rogers who initiated the Rogers’ peace plan  in the late 1960s, which Israel rejected. But frankly I have never  been affronted by such brazenly and fanatically one-sided diplomats who so shamelessly adopt the manifestly fascist views of the Israeli right while pretending to maintain a semblance of neutrality between Israel and her enduring victims.
 
 The trio seem, at least from this writer’s vantage point, so lacking in rectitude and scandalously ignorant of the basic issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict We are talking about a group of  ideological fanatics who tend to think  the 100-year conflict began yesterday. For example, they miserably fail to understand that the almost desperate but determined Palestinian resistance to unmitigated Israeli oppression is made inevitable by incessant Israeli aggression as well as concerted efforts to subjugate and humiliate one of the most ancient peoples of the Middle East whose only “crime” is its resilient quest for freedom and independence..  Kushner, Greenblat and Freidman simply don’t know that the Palestinians are putting up a last-ditch defense for their very survival in the face of powerful and immensely callous Zionist movement which succeeded in having the US government at its beck and call.
  
Kushner and Grerenblat, it is manifestly clear, are accustomed to dealing with corrupt Arab despots who have little moral credibility  and who  virtually view America as their God on Earth. Well, Gentlemen, I have some news for you:  There are Arabs of a different mantle who are not eager to be America’s puppets or agents.
 
The three morally bankrupt Zionist officials urged Hamas to recognize Israel just like other Arab countries in the region did. Well, since when were these undemocratic and grossly dictatorial entities a role model for the Palestinian people to adopt, emulate or imitate?
 
Moreover, the three Jewish-American diplomats conveniently forgot to tell us which Israel they were asking us to recognize? Is it Israel according to the UN partition plan of 1947? Is it Israel with the pre-`1967? Is it Israel with Jerusalem and the Haram Sharif? Or, indeed, is it Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates?
 
More to the point, the three Zionist fanatics shamelessly demanded that Hamas  ought to recognize Israel, even  in the absence of  a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian  state with East Jerusalem as its capital!
 
As we all remember, the PLO did recognize Israel in the context of the hapless Oslo Agreement. And we saw and endured (actually continue to endure) the bitter harvest of that scandal called the Oslo Accords. Hence the question: Must we repeat  the same blunder to appease and  please Israel firsters?
 
The PLO gave Israel everything the Zionist state demanded. It gave Israel  a free  and solemn recognition, it gave up legitimate armed resistance which is perfectly lawful under international law. It gave up our national honor and dignity, all in order to demonstrate our good will and sincere commitment to peace. And what did we get from Israel in return? Well, we got  150 new colonies, and a police state without a state called the Palestinian Authority.. 
 
As to Israel itself, it has been growing bolder and bolder in denying us our most  basic rights as human beings living in our ancestral homeland.
 
It would be misleading to think that the Nazificaion of Israel has been consummated and completed with the adoption by the Israeli Knesset  of the so-called Nationality Bill into a law.  Nay! Much is still coming up, and just as the Nuremburg laws in Nazi Germany were only a stage, the Nationality Law will be proven sooner or later  a mere small detail in the Nazification of Israel.  I am not a Prophet of doom and gloom, but the writing is on the wall and I would be utterly foolish to pretend that I am just having a nightmare.
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Mazin Qumsiyeh adds ….
de facto and now de jure racism/apartheid
 Finally, the Israeli Knesset puts it into words/law and is now de jure as
well as de facto racist/apartheid "Jewish nation-state" . The new "law"
violates international treaties and norms (including the 1976 International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid).
But on the bright side no one can now defend Israel as a "democracy" since
it is now not by practice alone but by clearly worded "law" that it is an
apartheid racist state for and by the Jewish people (imagine if a similar
law about "whites" or "christians" was instituted in any other country). 
See the following links

israel-adopts-racist-jewish-nation-state-law

israels-nation-state-law-apartheid-is-a-process/

israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill

Images by Latuff

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IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ISRAEL AT 70

Celebrating 70 years of… oppression and apartheid?

IT’S OFFICIAL ~~ ‘ISRAEL IS THE WORST APARTHEID REGIME EVER’

“The settlements I saw here [in the West Bank] reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely.

Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.”

Image by Latuff

SOURCE

PHOTOS OF THE DAY ~~ APARTHEID LOVE FEST

Mural believed to be the work of Australian graffiti artist Lushsux; with face hidden by headdress, man identifying himself as Lushsux says he hopes his painting would draw attention to Palestinians stuck in ‘an indoor prison.’

(Photo: Reuters)

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(Photo: Reuters)

Full report here (Click on link)

 Trump and Netanyahu share a kiss on West Bank wall mural

UN BLACKLISTS THE OCCUPATION

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights al-Hussein warns Israeli firms of their inclusion in ‘blacklist’ of companies operating in West Bank, east J’lem, Jordan Valley; list includes prominent companies such as Bezeq, Hot, Ahava, Cellcom, Bank Hapoalim and others; Bezeq CEO scorns ‘entirely anti-Israeli propaganda.’

130 Israeli companies, 60 int’l corporations on UN ‘blacklist’

Itamar Eichner

In the past few weeks, 130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations operating in Israel received warning letters from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein cautioning them of their impending inclusion in a “blacklist” of companies active beyond the Green Line in “violation of international law and UN resolutions.”

Ynet has gained access to part of the list, which is set to be published in late December and cites 25 well-known Israeli companies. The companies operate in different sectors—some in food manufacturing, others in services, pharmaceuticals and even high-tech—but have one thing in common: they all operate in settlements, east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

Among the companies in the commissioner’s sights are Ahava, Dor Alon, Amisragas, Angel Bakeries, Arison Investments, Ashdar, Clal Industries, Café Café, Cellcom, Danya Cebus, Electra, HP, Hot, the Israel Aerospace Industries, Matrix Systems, Motorola, Nesher, Partner, Paz, Rami Levy, Remax, Housing & Construction (Shikun Binui), Shufersal, Sonol and Trima.

The above companies are joined by the 12 companies already published on Channel 2 News including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq and Bezeq International, Coca Cola, Africa Israel, Teva, IDB, Egged, Mekorot, Netafim and Elbit Systems.

The “Washington Post” published American companies will also be appearing on the list, including Caterpillar, Tripadvisor and Airbnb.

Some of the companies to be included on the list are still considering their response, but others are already fighting back with the claim their inclusion on the list may cause them financial harm and tarnish their brand, and are therefore looking into filing suits against the Commissioner and the UN’s Human Rights Council that called for the list’s preparation in the first place.

The companies claim the list’s creation was politically motivated and point to the fact that the commissioner constructed no such lists pertaining to other regions of conflict—such as the Crimean Peninsula and Western Sahara—as proof.

Both Israel and the US have been working behind the scenes in the past few weeks to prevent the list’s publication, but it appears it may be presented with a fait accompli. Despite the fact the list carries no operational or legal ramifications, the symbolic move nevertheless caused concern among the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials due to the fact it may provide a serious boost to BDS efforts, deter foreign investors and convince foreign companies operating in Israel to reduce their operations.

“It may cause large investment firms or pension funds carrying stocks of various Israeli companies to divest in them because they, in turn, operate in the settlements. It may lead to a snowball effect that will greatly harm the Israeli economy eventually,” said a senior Israeli official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates the Human Rights Commissioner received most of his information about the Israeli firms from Israeli non-profits operating in the settlements and investigating business activities beyond the Green Line.

AIPAC goes to war

In an effort to scuttle the move, the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby has been working in the US on promoting rapid legislation in Congress determining any company divesting its business dealings from Israel will be considered to have “capitulated” to the Arab boycott, and would thus be in violation of American law.

The Human Rights Council’s efforts to isolate Israel—executed through the office of the commissioner—have largely been facilitated by what Israel frequently slams as the UN body’s years-long anti-Israeli majority which has a long record of a bias slant.

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler published a Facebook post 12 days ago in which she made public the overture she received from the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner. After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted her, Handler took the post down.

“Here’s something the UN’s Human Rights Council doesn’t want you know: we’ve received a message from Special Assistant to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Ali Alnsour. Alnsour communicated to us that Bezeq was to be included on a list of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank. He asked us to keep that information confidential and to not publically comment on it,” Handler’s Facebook post said.

“Before we get started, here’s some background about the UN’s Human Rights Council. Since it was founded in 2006, it published 68 decisions denouncing Israel, making up 50 percent of the total resolutions pertaining to specific countries the council has made. Not North Korea, not Syria, not Sudan and not Yemen were afforded such attention,” the post continued.

“We will not be cooperating with a move that’s entirely anti-Israeli propaganda. Despite the council’s attempts to harm Israel by harming Bezeq, we give you our solemn commitment to keep focused on what we do best: providing all of Israel’s citizens with quality service, to provide our employees with a fair workplace and to manufacture profits for our shareholders. That is our role as Israel’s communications infrastructures company,” Handler concluded.

FRIDAY’S TOON ~~ THE OCCUPATION IS FOREVER!

Or Not!!!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu promises West Bank will be occupied Israel “forever”

NYT JUSTIFIES APARTHEID IN ISRAEL ~~ ‘WALLS ARE US!’

Omitted is a racist quote early last year from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his determination to build walls all around Israel, though some of this construction would clearly be on occupied Palestinian territory.

Likening Palestinians to animals, Netanyahu stated, “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

The Times is just echoing the sentiments of Trump who has called Israel’s separation barrier a success while discussing his plan to erect a wall across the US-Mexico border.

New York Times distorts reality of Israel’s walls

Isabel Kershner, writing in The New York Times, recently misrepresented the reality of Israeli-built walls and the fact that it is Palestinians enclosed by them and not Israelis.

Establishing that she spends far too much time in an Israeli milieu and too little in occupied Palestinian territory, she flips reality by penning, “Challenged by hostile forces on most of its fronts, Israel is already pretty much walled in.”

Yet it is Israel itself which has chosen to build walls. The people to describe as “walled in” are Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians are the ones being forcibly enclosed within bantustans as part of a comprehensive system of apartheid – not Israelis.

Throughout the article, Kershner repeatedly omits vital information about an underground wall Israel is building to further obstruct Palestinian egress from the tightly blockaded Gaza Strip.

Omissions

Israel has peace agreements with both Egypt and Jordan – and security arrangements with the Palestinian Authority to police its own people under Israeli occupation.

Even on its frontline in the occupied Golan Heights with Syria, where a devastating civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people, Israel funds Syrian armed opposition groups to maintain a buffer zone controlled by “friendly forces.”

Yet these facts are excluded in Kershner’s decision to present a tough neighborhood spin with Israel “challenged by hostile forces on most of its fronts.”

Most of those fronts – beyond those where the Israeli government has signed peace agreements with other states – are occupied territory held by Israel for over 50 years.

Treating occupied people as “hostile” is akin to the moral equivalency offered by US President Donald Trump in equating anti-fascists and anti-racists with Nazis and white supremacists.

How else are people under an oppressive military occupation that deprives them of their most basic rights, while systematically colonizing their land, supposed to feel about their occupiers?

Yet Kershner dismissively employs the term “hostile forces,” undercutting millions of occupied people calling for equal rights and a return to stolen homes and properties.

Also omitted is a racist quote early last year from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his determination to build walls all around Israel, though some of this construction would clearly be on occupied Palestinian territory.

Likening Palestinians to animals, Netanyahu stated, “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

Israel’s wall with Egypt, though readers won’t learn it in this article from Kershner, was built in significant partto keep out African migrants and refugees, principally from Eritrea and Sudan, fleeing war and other perils.

Netanyahu himself admitted as much.

President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea 🇮🇱🇺🇸

TIMELY TOONS ~~ RADIOHEAD HEADING TO PLAY APARTHEID

A message to Radiohead – Performing in Israel is supporting apartheid!

Images by Carlos Latuff

Dear Thom Yorke will you play in Israel where Palestinian children are tortured in prisons?

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Dear Thom Yorke playing in Israel is backing a regime that systematically oppress/deny Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank the most basic rights

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International support of BDS …

Radiohead concert disrupted over Tel Aviv visit

British BDS protesters disrupt concert by Rdiohead band over upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.

From JTA

British protesters disrupted the band Radiohead’s performance at a festival in Britain over its upcoming performance in Tel Aviv.

Some waved Palestinian flags and raised a banner reading “Israel is an apartheid state. Radiohead, don’t play there,” the London-based website Jewish News reported. Some members of the audience shouted “free Palestine,” as well.

Radiohead performed as the headliner at the Glastonbury Festival in South West England on Friday.

The band was greeted with applause as it took the stage, according to the report.

Dozens of high-profile artists had signed a letter sent to Radiohead in February urging the band to cancel its July performance in Tel Aviv. Earlier this month, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said the letter was “offensive” and called out its signees for assuming the band is not informed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IN VIDEOS ~~ DENIAL AND REALITY OF ISRAELI APARTHEID

First the denial …..

Now the reality …..

Thousands of Palestinian workers queue at this Israeli military checkpoint before dawn each day.

Video by Ahmad Al-Bazz, Haidi Motola and Anne Paq/Activestills.org

ISRAEL’S NATION-STATE BILL IS A CORNERSTONE FOR APARTHEID

The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.

The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass.


Israeli ministers back nation-state bill delisting Arabic as official language

A Cornerstone of Apartheid

Israel’s ‘nation-state’ law must be stopped – the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among all its citizens in law

The nation-state bill, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved unanimously on Sunday, is a bad bill. Nobody denies that Israel, as the bill says, “is the national home of the Jewish people,” or that “the right to the realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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The Jewish people’s right to national revival in the Land of Israel was recognized back in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and approved by the League of Nations Mandate in 1922. On November 29, 1947, this right was reaffirmed and recognized by the UN General Assembly as well.

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“We … hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” reads the Declaration of Independence. Similarly, the state’s Basic Laws define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. And aside from all this, just last week, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence.

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Nevertheless, this bill is bad, because the only legitimate way to ensure the state’s Jewishness is for Israel to be a democracy that grants full equality to all its citizens, but which also has a Jewish majority. Any situation in which Jews were a minority in Israel, and the state’s Jewishness was maintained solely via discriminatory laws and a regime that enforced them against the majority’s will, would be undemocratic, and in any event would certainly not be viable over the long run.
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The only explanation for why Israel is advancing this bill is the millions of Palestinians whom it keeps under its control in territories that it fantasizes about annexing. Because Israel is interested in applying its sovereignty to the land but isn’t interested in annexing the Palestinians who live there as equal citizens in a single state, it is forced to create the legal infrastructure for segregating Jews from Arabs and preserving the Jews’ legal supremacy. The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.
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The nation-state law is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, as it seeks to enshrine the rule of a Jewish minority over an imagined Arab majority. This is a fearful and aggressive move by a people that sees itself as a minority and is preparing to maintain control over an apartheid state that contains a Palestinian majority living under its rule. Yet even before that point is reached, the law discriminates against members of Israel’s Arab minority and legally labels them as second-class citizens.

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The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass. The only way to preserve the national home of the Jewish people is to separate peacefully from the occupied territories and liberate the Palestinian people. And the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among its citizens in law, in line with the promise of the Declaration of Independence: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
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The above is the lead EDITORIAL in today’s HaAretz.

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE ROAD TO FREEDOM COMES TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

We must not co-exist but rather co-resist 

On the evening of April 24th an auditorium at Barnard College/Columbia University was packed to capacity with students waiting to hear Omar Barghouti, one of the originators of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, speak.  Earlier in the day he was given the Gandhi Peace Prize at Yale University and all were aware that the Israeli government had tried to interfere with him taking this trip.  There was also interference from the university which was not pleased to have Barghouti at Columbia that evening.

When he entered the room he was given a loud, long and enthusiastic standing ovation.  Two other speakers were on the program, Professor Premilla Nadasen, of the Barnard History Department and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Both spoke well, Nadasen described her experiences growing up in an apartheid South Africa which she  said was not as bad as the apartheid in Palestine.  Vilkomerson discussed the new tactics that Israel was using, “lawfare”, in an attempt to defeat the growing BDS movement.  When Barghouti stepped up to the podium there was another lengthy standing ovation.  He began by giving the history of the non-violent BDS movement and explained their 3 demands – ending the occupation and the wall, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel (there are currently 61 laws in Israel that favor Jewish citizens over Palestinian citizens), and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees in the diaspora as guaranteed by the UN.  He said that the Nakba had never ended and that there was a continual effort to colonize the minds of the Palestinian people by destroying all hope.  But hope was not destroyed.  There is still strong resistance and the success of the BDS movement has raised hope even higher.  He added that we must not co-exist but rather co-resist.  To boycott or not to boycott is a moral choice that we must all make.  And when, not if, freedom, justice, and equality exist there the BDS campaign will come to an end.  And then there was another lengthy standing ovation for Barghouti and, by extension, for the Palestinian people.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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ON SUNDAY OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

THE REALITY OF APARTHEID AND ITS REPRECUSSIONS

THE FACTS OF THE MATTER …..


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ZIONS RESPONSE …

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AND OUR RESPONSE

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THE LEAST YOU CAN DO ….

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THE BDS MOVEMENT WAS HONOURED ON SUNDAY WHEN OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT


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WE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT ALONE …. AND WE SHALL OVERCOME!

FEMINISM AND APARTHEID

Historically, some women, including the richest and most prominent, have identified themselves with a feminism that ignores race and class, and thus ignores most women, who are directly impacted by poverty, racism, war and occupation, and environmental devastation in the industrial and non-industrial world. Such feminists celebrate the women who have broken the glass ceiling and moved into the 1%. For them, feminism means the right of women to be equal to men in managing capitalism with its exploitation, occupation, racism and underlying it all, sexism.

Drawing by Rana Bishara, 2015: ‘RIP Martyrs, Nour and Baby Rahaf- Gaza’

Confronting apartheid has everything to do with feminism

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James

Attacking the International Women’s Strike on March 8, supporters of Israel argued that the decolonization of Palestine has no place in feminism and further asked if there is a place for Zionists in the feminist movement. We turn the question around and ask if the occupation of Palestine, the bombings of Gaza, the apartheid that applies two separate and unequal systems to Israel’s relationship to Palestinians–can be compatible with feminism? While Israel’s apologists were posing such questions, the Israeli army, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was busy shutting down two events in Jerusalem marking International Women’s Day.

Had Zionists who call themselves feminists understood the International Women’s Strike (IWS) as reflective of an indivisible sense of justice, they would have readily realized that the IWS call cannot tolerate racism. An inclusive feminism has rightfully rejected the Zionist justification of Israel’s violation of the rights of millions of Palestinian women and girls, both refugees and those living under barbaric occupation and siege.

Historically, some women, including the richest and most prominent, have identified themselves with a feminism that ignores race and class, and thus ignores most women, who are directly impacted by poverty, racism, war and occupation, and environmental devastation in the industrial and non-industrial world. Such feminists celebrate the women who have broken the glass ceiling and moved into the 1%. For them, feminism means the right of women to be equal to men in managing capitalism with its exploitation, occupation, racism and underlying it all, sexism.

At its root, feminism is a movement demanding liberation for women. The struggle for women’s rights under the banner of feminism cannot meaningfully exist without addressing and working to eliminate oppression rooted in racism, colonialism and capitalism. This is the case for women in many countries who support the feminism of the 99%. In other words, grassroots women are not merely the backdrop but the central concern of their movement. Accordingly, the platform of the International Women’s Strike lifted up many of the most crucial issues undermining women’s survival around the world: an end to gender violence, reproductive justice for all, labor rights, social programs, and an end to environmental degradation—in short, an anti-racist and anti-imperialist agenda.

In this new climate, what is happening to Palestinian women is not a detail but a vital question. As a result, Rasmea Odeh was one of the women invited to be part of the leadership of the U.S. strike.

Rasmea Odeh is a Chicago-based Palestinian community leader who has diligently and persistently fought for the empowerment of Arab immigrant women by providing leadership development and English language services, as well as alleviating the isolation experienced by newly arrived immigrant families.

Ms. Odeh was subjected to torture and sexual assault for resisting colonization and occupation. Her life story embodies the experience of all women who have survived racist state violence. The false accusations against Ms. Odeh, repeated by self-identified Zionists are malicious and intended to criminalize Ms. Odeh and her supporters. This has the effect of legitimizing the use of torture against political prisoners as a means to coerce information to justify their imprisonment.

What has happened to Ms. Odeh at the hands of Israel is replicated all over the globe by repressive and imperialist governments. The feminism of the 99% which is now emerging rejects this persecution and torture, wherever it takes place.

Zionist feminism is an oxymoron. It may have had a shared legacy with white-women-only feminism but it does not reflect the conviction of today’s activists who refuse to stand by the notion of justice for some of us while denying justice to others. We reject Zionism and Zionist feminism. A growing number of women are recognizing that the feminism that does not confront capitalism, racism, and colonialism will not lead to liberation, just as there is no liberation possible without confronting sexism. Any way forward must overcome the voices of selective feminism that defend systems of oppression and try to silence our voices.

Rabab Abdulhadi is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies and the Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, at the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University. She is the co-editor of the award-winning anthology, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging and her work has appeared in dozens of journals on gender and justice (Syracuse University Press) and co-founder and editorial board member of the Islamophobia Studies Journal. Abdulhadi is co-chair of Feminists for Justice in Palestine, the interest group that initiated and organized that NWSA campaign for BDS in 2015.

Suzanne Adely is a global labor human rights lawyer and activist. She is a member of the International Women’s Strike (IWS) U.S. Planning Committee, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, bureau member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an organizer with the US Palestine Community Network and the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. 

Angela Davis emerged as a prominent activist in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party. She co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex and was a professor (now retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.

Selma James is an activist, political thinker, and writer. She is the founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign and helped launch the Global Women’s Strike. She is the author of numerous publications, including, most recently, Sex, Race and Class — The Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952-2011. While married to and involved in political work with the late C.L.R. James, Selma wrote her seminal 1952 essay, “A Woman’s Place.” 

FROM

THE VEIL OF APARTHEID

Apartheid has been considered in the annals of the United Nations and world public opinion to be second only to genocide in the hierarchy of criminality”,

And

Genocide and apartheid are the only two international crimes, the commission of which States have a duty to prevent.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Apartheid wears a veil

A report commissioned by the UN agency ESCWA (Economic and Social Comission for Western Asia), released Wednesday, concluded unequivocally that Israel practices Apartheid policy. It saw official daylight for two days.

The spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted “#UN #ESCWA has issued today a ‘Der Stürmer’ like report, NOT endorsed by @UNSG. Friendly advice- dont read it without anti nausea pills….” He was referring to the Nazi propaganda outlet, Der Stürmer.

The report, authored by Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton and former UN Special Rapporteur, as well as Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, was taken down, under harsh pressure from Israel and USA, by order of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Under-Secretary General Rima Khalaf, who also heads the Beirut-based ESCWA, refused to remove the report and resigned in protest. “I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report,” said Khalaf. Fortunately, the report is available by many outlets who have saved it and reproduced it, including here.

Let me first address the ‘Nazi’ comparison.

Now, I admit I have not read Der Stürmer, and have no special intention of doing so. What I can say, nonetheless, is that I have read every word and footnote of the 74-page report. If ‘anti-nausea’ pills were necessary, as Emmanuel Nahshon suggests, it would only have been to quell the nausea arising from the reality which this report describes – in a remarkably lucid manner.

It would appear, that the typical ‘Nazi’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ accusations are a smoke-screen to avoid discussion about the actual issues brought forth in the report. The synthesis of the report is not merely an innovative intellectual exercise. As Nelson Mandela noted, the issue of Palestine is “the greatest moral issue of our time”. Had the report regarded a long-past historical event (as for example Apartheid in South Africa), the hyperbole accusations would no doubt be put aside, in light of the grave issues addressed. Yet it is precisely because the crime is current and ongoing, that every effort is made to shoot it down by those involved. As the report notes in its Conclusions (p. 50):

[T]he situation addressed in the report is ongoing. Many investigations of crimes against humanity have concerned past behaviour or events, such as civil wars involving genocides, which have formally concluded. In such cases, the international community faces no particular pressure to act in a timely way to terminate an ongoing crime prior to investigating the legal facts of culpability. In the case of Israel-Palestine, any delay compounds the crime by prolonging the subjugation of Palestinians to the active practice of apartheid by Israel. Prompt action is accordingly imperative to avert further human suffering and end a crime against humanity that is being committed now.”

That urgency means, that even if one is unconvinced that the crime of Apartheid applies in full to Israel, it is important to give this report time, rather than dismiss it as ‘propaganda’. If indeed the hat fits, then the implications are grave. As further noted in the same page (footnote 90):

[A]partheid has been considered in the annals of the United Nations and world public opinion to be second only to genocide in the hierarchy of criminality”,

And

Genocide and apartheid are the only two international crimes, the commission of which States have a duty to prevent.

Those who take such matters seriously, would thus do well to read the report in its entirety. I would nonetheless like to offer my appraisal as to why this report is so crucial.

The report is arguably a ground-breaking one, in that it cuts across all the formations which serve not only the fragmentation of Palestinians (in four domains – citizens, East Jerusalemites, occupied and refugees), but also the obfuscation of the discussion about Israel’s overall policy – of Apartheid. As noted in page 30:

By developing discrete bodies of law, termed “domains” in this report, for each territory and their Palestinian populations, Israel has both effected and veiled a comprehensive policy of apartheid directed at the whole Palestinian people. [my emphasis].

The notion of Israel applying Apartheid policy has already been brought forth by Virginia Tilley in a study from 2009 for the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC), at the request of the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The study was coordinated, co-authored and edited by Tilley under the title Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A Reassessment of Israel’s Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under International Law. But this sort of comprehensive appraisal has not featured yet in any comprehensive UN report.

The methodical comparison to the 1973 Apartheid convention provides a ‘checklist’ that is satisfied almost completely on all points. Nonetheless, as noted in p. 17:

[A] check-list method alone — such as looking for the “inhuman acts” mentioned in the Apartheid Convention — would be a misreading of the [Apartheid] Convention’s intention. In article II, it explicitly establishes that such acts are illustrative, not mandatory, and are crimes of apartheid only if they serve the overarching purpose of racial domination. Hence, such acts can be considered crimes of apartheid only after the existence of an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination” has been conclusively established.

Thus, the report seeks to establish two main issues concerning Israeli Apartheid policy: overarching purpose and intention.

The notion of ‘purpose’ comes from the Apartheid convention, as cited in p. 17:

For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of (emphasis added) establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them  (article II).

The notion of ‘intent’ comes from the Rome Statute, (article 7 (2) (h), cited same page):

“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1 [i.e., “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”], 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 [my emphasis] of maintaining that regime.

Purpose and Intention are obviously two very crucial words. In customary criminal law, it is intention that can mark the difference between murder and unintentional manslaughter; It is purpose that can mark the difference between a rogue massacre and genocide.

The report also qualifies (footnote 20, p. 17) that

“former special rapporteurs John Dugard and Richard Falk highlighted the problem of determining when “features of apartheid” signify that an apartheid regime is operating, which would constitute a matter that might be referred to the ICJ. For both rapporteurs, the question arose with regard to the legality of the Israeli occupation. Mr. Dugard described “road apartheid” in the occupied Palestinian territory and noted that the Israeli occupation has “features” or “elements” of apartheid. However, whether Israel is constituted as an apartheid regime remained for Mr. Dugard a question still to be legally determined (A/62/275). Mr. Falk adopted a similar position (A/HRC/25/67, p. 21).”

The report was thus set to determine whether there is a systematic, overarching, purposeful and intentional Israeli policy of Apartheid – one which goes beyond partial appraisals of it in this or that territory.

While acknowledging the different domains of Israeli policy vis-á-vis Palestinians (again: citizens, East-Jerusalem ‘residents’, occupied and refugees), the report regards them as part of a whole. While Palestinians in domain 1 (citizens) are no doubt under the least oppressive circumstances of the four, still, systematic discrimination against them exists – on an established racial basis. Besides the myriad of racist laws applying to them, there is the basic notion, that they are those who did not flee the Nakba of 1948. In the section titled ‘Demographic engineering’ (p. 31), the report notes that

“the first general policy of Israel has been one of demographic engineering, in order to establish and maintain an overwhelming Jewish majority in Israel. As in any racial democracy, such a majority allows the trappings of democracy — democratic elections, a strong legislature — without threatening any loss of hegemony by the dominant racial group.”

Theoretically, one could attempt to argue that Palestinians citizens of Israel could have enjoyed completely equal rights (as Israeli apologists misleadingly do, regularly), and still the Apartheid policy could hold – in that Israel could be using them as an ‘alibi’ or ‘aberration’ to the overwhelming majority of Palestinians upon which it practices more overt and tangible Apartheid. But Israel goes way beyond that, and the report provides examples of how Apartheid applies also for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The report also goes to a considerable extent to exclude partial, euphemistic or generalist appraisals of ‘Apartheid’, such as (p. 13):

  1. Defining only regimes consistent with the apartheid regime in South Africa as being apartheid, so that, by definition, digressions from South African practices preclude any charge of apartheid.

  2. Treating discrete practices considered to have qualities of apartheid, such as the so-called “apartheid wall” (“separation fence” or “separation barrier” in official Israeli discourse), as signifying that a State has established a comprehensive apartheid regime.

  3. Defining apartheid as the outcome of anonymous structural global forces, such as global corporate influences or neoliberalism, as enforced by Bretton Woods institutions.

  4. Defining apartheid as the aggregate body of private racist practices by the dominant society as a whole, whereby State involvement is a contingent tool for enforcing a draconian social system based on racial hierarchy, discrimination and segregation.

  5. Treating apartheid as pertaining only to Palestinian citizens of Israel, or only to Palestinians in the occupied territory, or excluding Palestinian refugees and involuntary exiles living outside territory under Israeli control.

Hence the question applied, is whether ‘Grand Apartheid’, that is, an overarching Apartheid, is applicable to Israel, in a singular and absolute sense.

One could summate and analyze much more, but the report is available for all to read. The report concludes (final page),

“on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid”.

This is no light notion. Apartheid is a crime against humanity – as mentioned, second only to Genocide.

If the scholarly integrity of this conclusion is to be criticized, it should follow a serious, detailed and scholarly review. The tarnish campaign by Israel and USA has so far not even addressed the critical issues brought forth by the report. It would appear that the intent is to bury it altogether, and avoid the discussion.

While the report reads cogently like a book, it was not meant as a book. It was meant as a tool for political action. Although its official path through the UN appears to have been blocked, it should serve as an important tool for study, appraisal and activism.

The discussion is now in the open, whether Israel and its patrons like it or not.

‘HOW DARE THEY CONDEMN OUR APARTHEID!’

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says 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.”

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY WITH APARTHEID!

Israel fumes as UN board slams its ‘apartheid, racial domination’ over Palestinians

Jerusalem’s envoy urges UN chief to reject ‘biased and deceitful’ report by Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday after the commission released a report accusing Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says 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.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed Israel’s Law of Return, “conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country,” as a policy of “demographic engineering” meant to uphold Israel’s status as the Jewish state.

The report further accuses Israel of “practices” that have fragmented Palestinians, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

“This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance,” the report reads.

Danny Danon, Israel’s UN envoy, hit back at the report, saying 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.”

“It comes as no surprise that an organization headed by an individual who has called for boycotts against Israel, and compared our democracy to the most terrible regimes of the twentieth century, would publish such a report. We call on the Secretary General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

At a press conference accompanying the release of the report, Falk said the document and its findings “come after 50 years of frustrated diplomacy that failed to find a way to liberate the Palestinian people from oppression and denial of rights.”

Tilley said “it has become entirely clear that we’re longer talking about risk of apartheid but practice of apartheid.”

“There is an urgency for a response as Palestinians are currently suffering from this regime,” she said.

FROM

Related Post (Click on link)

US demands UN pull report accusing Israel of apartheid

Envoy Nikki Haley says Washington outraged by publication; Sec-Gen Guterres distances self from it; Israel slams it as ‘despicable’

ANTI APARTHEID VIDEO GONE VIRAL

Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid in Palestine

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‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act

The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago.

“Ever since the right-wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages,” Harel said.

More HERE

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