Long overdue recognition that Israel is an apartheid state

While some prominent people like Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have labeled Israel as an apartheid state, some human rights groups and progressives in the US have long shied away from criticizing Israel’s awful treatment of Palestinians, earning them the label of PEPs, standing for ‘progressive except for Palestine’. Hence I am glad that at least one prominent human rights group has finally come right out and stated that what is going on in Israel and the occupied territories is nothing less than apartheid.

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that the policies and actions of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people amount to systematic “apartheid” and unlawful persecution that must be stopped.

The accusations related to Israel’s actions in the occupied territories (OPT) and within Israel are laid out in a new report entitled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.” The findings are based on over two years of research and documentation including official government statements, internal planning documents, and interviews.

“Human Rights Watch concludes that the Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the OPT,” the report states. “In the OPT, including East Jerusalem, that intent has been coupled with systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid.”

The specific label of apartheid, the group notes, is accurate based on the Apartheid Convention and Rome Statute’s definitions.

The accusation of persecution is based on “the widespread confiscation of privately owned land, the effective prohibition on building or living in many areas, the mass denial of residency rights, and sweeping, decades-long restrictions on the freedom of movement and basic civil rights,” the publication says.

Israel has got away with its abusive practices because of the protection and support afforded it by the US government that manifests itself in the massive amounts of aid that Israel gets.


  1. says

    The timing of this is important with Israel’s adamant refusal to vaccinate the Palestinian population, leaving them vulnerable to mass spread of COVID-19, especially when the population is forced in densely populated areas.

    Israel’s “vaccine passports” are required for mobility, much like “passes” the racist South African government demand Black citizens possess. Few Palestinians have them.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    because any hint of criticism is automatically labelled “anti-semitism”.

    Which only works because that label has been made far more toxic than practically any other. People can recover from being labelled almost anything, but “anti-semitic” is right up there with “paedophile”. It’s WAY worse than “racist” or “misogynist” or even “rapist”. Which is quite a trick, when you think about it.

  3. Bruce says

    The country east of France was the victim of brutal oppression at the start of the 19th century. Therefore, all moral questions regarding this country must be analyzed from the point of view that it was the victim, and therefore has the moral superiority in all upcoming issues. Presumably forever, no matter what future leader says or does what.

  4. John Morales says

    Jazzlet, all countries on a similar latitude are to the east of France; Earth is a globe, and going east sufficiently eventually brings one right back to France.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Jazzlet @6: My guess is Belgium, which was invaded by France in 1794, and under oppressive French rule for 20 years. And of course, 100 years later Belgium’s King Leopold II presided over multiple atrocities and oppression in the Congo.

  6. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    US human right groups shouldn’t look to apartheid, because a better comparison is so close to home: Indian reservations. They were the model of South African “bantustans”. Denying vaccination is the equivalent of distributing smallpox blankets. The “peace plan” of Trump was just a replay of the Great Sioux Reservation of Dakota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *