Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

With apartheid an irrefutable reality, Israel’s democracy has always rested on blind faith – Amnesty International “Accuses Israel of Subjecting Palestinians to Apartheid”

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Amnesty International became the latest human rights group to label Israel an apartheid state. In a damning report titled “Israel’s Apartheid against…

With apartheid an irrefutable reality, Israel’s democracy has always rested on blind faith

We are reblogging an important Middle East Monitor Analysis of Amnesty International’s Report stating that Israel is subjecting Palestinians to Apartheid. (See Above). Betty Purcell elaborates in an Irish Times letter, published February 2 2022.

Amnesty report on Israel

Sir, – I was not surprised but am deeply grateful to the esteemed human rights organisation Amnesty International for their devastating report “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity” (“Amnesty accuses Israel of subjecting Palestinians to ‘apartheid’”, World, February 1st).

The report “has concluded that Israel has perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid” . The reason I’m not surprised is I’ve personally seen that apartheid in action, while planting olive trees with the YMCA and Palestinian farmers, under the threat of armed settler violence in the West Bank.

I’ve seen the queues at checkpoints, the separate roads and licence plates, the lack of water for Palestinian families alongside settler sprinklers, the deprived schools and hospitals.

In the last weeks, I’ve watched the videos as elderly Palestinian women wept as their homes were demolished in East Jerusalem.

The 211-page forensic Amnesty report notes that “almost all of Israel’s civilian administration and military authorities, as well as governmental and quasi-governmental institutions, are involved in the enforcement of the system of apartheid against Palestinians across Israel and the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territory) and against Palestinian refugees outside the territory.” It is not a question of occasional bad behaviour by Israeli forces. The violence and discrimination are systemic.

It is time to move on from words. The international community has a responsibility to act. I echo Amnesty’s call for an end to arming the Israeli state, to institute an embargo on Israeli settlement products, and for the UN to reconstitute its special committee against apartheid.

The egregious attacks on the people and families of Palestine must be brought to an end.

Ireland must play its part. – Yours, etc,

The Middle East Monitor Analysis offers damning evidence

John Kerry, who was US Secretary of State under the administration of former US President, Barack Obama, was equally clear sighted about Israel’s future. During a closed-door meeting in Washington in 2014, Kerry said that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state” if US-sponsored efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement fail. Last year, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said pretty much the same thing. “The risk of apartheid is strong” said Drian, warning of “the status quo.” Both leaders though, conveniently ignored the fact that the “status quo” is the permanent reality and their views about Israeli democracy were hanging by nothing but a faith in a future without occupation.

Faith in Israeli democracy was also hanging by a thread with former Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon who, last year, said that the dual legal regimes imposed in Palestinian territories by Israel, together with the inhumane and abusive acts that are carried out against Palestinians, was “resulting in a situation that arguably constitutes apartheid”.

Ban Ki-Moon’s remark is looking increasingly likely as though it is a harbinger of the direction towards which the UN will travel on the issue of Israel’s status as an apartheid state. Though the current Secretary General, António Guterres, requested the removal of a 2017 UN report accusing Israel of apartheid, under great pressure and accusations of anti-Semitism, the world body has establised a permanent Commission of Inquiry into Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, including its onslaught on Gaza. Israeli leaders are worried that, when the Commission finally publishes its report, it will conclude that the occupation state is practicing apartheid and with a general consensus amongst rights group that that is indeed the case, there is very little Tel-Aviv and Washington can do to sway its decision.

John Meehan February 2 2022

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