Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Question of Apartheid

Sadly, the UN has been pressured to withdraw its excellent report on "Israeli Practices Towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid."  In the process, a decent woman and diplomat has lost her job--due to pressure from Israel and U.S. allies.  It's a remarkably well-written document, which you can read here, and includes this preface:
"The authors reject the accusation of anti-Semitism in the strongest terms.  First, the question of whether the State of Israel is constituted as an apartheid regime springs from the same body of international human rights law and principles that rejects anti-Semitism: that is, the prohibition of racial discrimination.  No State is immune from the norms and rules enshrined in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which must be applied impartially.  The prohibition of apartheid, which, as a crime against humanity can admit no exceptions, flows from the Convention.  Strengthening that body of international law can only benefit all groups that have historically endured discrimination, domination and persecution, including Jews.

"Secondly, the situation in Israel-Palestine constitutes an unmet obligation of the organized international community to resolve a conflict partially generated by its own actions.  That obligation dates formally to 1922, when the League of Nations established the British Mandate for Palestine as a territory eminently ready for independence as an inclusive secular State, yet incorporated into the Mandate the core pledge of the Balfour Declaration to support the 'Jewish people' in their efforts to establish in Palestine a 'Jewish national home.'  Later United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions attempted to resolve the conflict generated by that arrangement, yet could not prevent related proposals, such as partition, from being overtaken by events on the ground.  If this attention to the case of Israel by the United Nations appears exception, therefore, it is only because no comparable linkage between United Nations actions and any other prolonged denial to a people of their right to self-determination.

"Thirdly, the policies, practices and measures applied by Israel to enforce a system of racial discrimination threaten regional peace and security.  United Nations resolutions have long recognized that danger and called for resolution of the conflict so as to restore and maintain peace and stability in the region."

See the full report here.