Thursday, March 16, 2017

Israel is an apartheid state

That's the official conclusion of a report by the United Nations:

A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established "an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole".

The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating - or even has already created - a de facto "one-state", which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid.

It urged governments to "support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives".

The report - Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid - was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and launched in Beirut.

Israel and their US supporters are upset, of course - but what else do you call it where one people are systematically discriminated against by the government, subject to arbitrary land confiscations, expulsions and home demolitions, and subject to a completely different set of laws?

This is not something the world should tolerate. It is illegal under international law and constitutes a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. We didn't tolerate it from South Africa, and we should place Israel under the same sort of sanctions regime until it changes its mind and respects the human rights of all its citizens.