Human Rights Watch Confirms Israel is an Apartheid State 230


The forthright branding of Israel as an apartheid state by Human Rights Watch could be a watershed moment in mainstream acceptance of what Israel has become. Human Rights Watch is not an outlier or left wing organisation. It is very much a part of the establishment in the United States and is not generally associated with hard hitting criticism that conflicts with the promoted interests of the American state. Kenneth Roth, the Human Rights Watch CEO who has been in power longer than Putin, is a darling of the New York liberal and Democratic Party Establishment. That is an important financial source for HRW and includes many members of New York’s highly altruistic liberal Jewish community (who I should declare have frequently hosted me).

Shortly before I formally left the FCO in 2005, I was shortlisted for a position as Global Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch and flown to New York to be interviewed by Kenneth Roth in their offices – which if memory serves were very plush and actually in the Empire State Building. Having worked closely with Human Rights Watch in Uzbekistan and elsewhere, I was reasonably confident, and I was surprised when the interview was cold and almost hostile. Kenneth Roth asked me questions exclusively about Israel. I very distinctly recall that he said that I had been describing human rights abuses as perpetrated by governments, but did terrorist offences not also grossly violate the human rights of their victims? He specifically referenced Palestinian terror attacks as being detrimental to the human rights of Israelis.

I replied to the effect that terrorist offences were to me a matter of criminal law as any other assault or murder, whereas human rights abuses were perpetrated by governments or sometimes, in conflict situations, others wielding control and authority. I also referenced the need to bear in mind the imbalance in Israeli/Palestinian infliction of violence. A number of other Israel specific questions followed, which were increasingly unfriendly, and it was plain that Roth was looking for an expression of firm condemnation of the Palestinians, which I did not give, while I did state that violence against innocent civilian targets was never legitimate.

Anyway, I did not get the job which went, perhaps significantly, to an ex US State Department employee with no visible record of dissent. I remember pondering, on the flight back across the Atlantic, that I had been a civil servant for 22 years and forbidden from expressing political opinions. I had said nothing which was not British government policy on Israel since 1984. You would have to go back to my student days and membership of Friends of Palestine to find in public any private views of mine on the Middle East (which from pre-internet days would not be readily discovered). I was wondering who had briefed Roth, and my thoughts turned in obvious directions.

I give that background so you understand how much it has taken for Human Rights Watch to conclude that Israel is now an apartheid state and how far they have come. This cannot be dismissed as “the usual suspects”. Furthermore, the report is a formal legal analysis of what constitutes the crime of apartheid and whether Israeli actions and statutes meet that bar, and it concludes that Israel is an apartheid state not as a matter of political categorisation, but in a formal, legal sense. Roth is respected as a lawyer and Human Rights Watch is an organisation to which people, not just in State Department but at senior levels of the Biden Administration, genuinely listen if not always taking heed.

It is worth reproducing the Human Rights Watch Press Release in full:

BEGINS

Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.

The 213-page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.

“Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The finding of apartheid and persecution does not change the legal status of the occupied territory, made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, or the factual reality of occupation.

Originally coined in relation to South Africa, apartheid today is a universal legal term. The prohibition against particularly severe institutional discrimination and oppression or apartheid constitutes a core principle of international law. The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) define apartheid as a crime against humanity consisting of three primary elements:

An intent to maintain domination by one racial group over another.
A context of systematic oppression by the dominant group over the marginalized group.
Inhumane acts.
The reference to a racial group is understood today to address not only treatment on the basis of genetic traits but also treatment on the basis of descent and national or ethnic origin, as defined in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Human Rights Watch applies this broader understanding of race.

The crime against humanity of persecution, as defined under the Rome Statute and customary international law, consists of severe deprivation of fundamental rights of a racial, ethnic, or other group with discriminatory intent.

Human Rights Watch found that the elements of the crimes come together in the occupied territory, as part of a single Israeli government policy. That policy is to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the occupied territory. It is coupled in the occupied territory with systematic oppression and inhumane acts against Palestinians living there.

Drawing on years of human rights documentation, case studies, and a review of government planning documents, statements by officials, and other sources, Human Rights Watch compared policies and practices toward Palestinians in the occupied territory and Israel with those concerning Jewish Israelis living in the same areas. Human Rights Watch wrote to the Israeli government in July 2020, soliciting its perspectives on these issues, but has received no response.

Across Israel and the occupied territory, Israeli authorities have sought to maximize the land available for Jewish communities and to concentrate most Palestinians in dense population centers. The authorities have adopted policies to mitigate what they have openly described as a “demographic threat” from Palestinians. In Jerusalem, for example, the government’s plan for the municipality, including both the west and occupied east parts of the city, sets the goal of “maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city” and even specifies the demographic ratios it hopes to maintain.

To maintain domination, Israeli authorities systematically discriminate against Palestinians. The institutional discrimination that Palestinian citizens of Israel face includes laws that allow hundreds of small Jewish towns to effectively exclude Palestinians and budgets that allocate only a fraction of resources to Palestinian schools as compared to those that serve Jewish Israeli children. In the occupied territory, the severity of the repression, including the imposition of draconian military rule on Palestinians while affording Jewish Israelis living in a segregated manner in the same territory their full rights under Israel’s rights-respecting civil law, amounts to the systematic oppression required for apartheid.

Israeli authorities have committed a range of abuses against Palestinians. Many of those in the occupied territory constitute severe abuses of fundamental rights and the inhumane acts again required for apartheid, including: sweeping movement restrictions in the form of the Gaza closure and a permit regime, confiscation of more than a third of the land in the West Bank, harsh conditions in parts of the West Bank that led to the forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians out of their homes, denial of residency rights to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their relatives, and the suspension of basic civil rights to millions of Palestinians.

Many of the abuses at the core of the commission of these crimes, such as near-categorical denial of building permits to Palestinians and demolition of thousands of homes on the pretext of lacking permits, have no security justification. Others, such as Israel’s effective freeze on the population registry it manages in the occupied territory, which all but blocks family reunification for Palestinians living there and bars Gaza residents from living in the West Bank, use security as a pretext to further demographic goals. Even when security forms part of the motivation, it no more justifies apartheid and persecution than it would excessive force or torture, Human Rights Watch said.

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” Roth said. “These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

Statements and actions by Israeli authorities in recent years, including the passage of a law with constitutional status in 2018 establishing Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people,” the growing body of laws that further privilege Israeli settlers in the West Bank and do not apply to Palestinians living in the same territory, as well as the massive expansion in recent years of settlements and accompanying infrastructure connecting settlements to Israel, have clarified their intent to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis. The possibility that a future Israeli leader might someday forge a deal with Palestinians that dismantles the discriminatory system does not negate that reality today.

Israeli authorities should dismantle all forms of repression and discrimination that privilege Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, including with regards to freedom of movement, allocation of land and resources, access to water, electricity, and other services, and the granting of building permits.

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor should investigate and prosecute those credibly implicated in the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. Countries should do so as well in accordance with their national laws under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on officials responsible for committing these crimes.

The findings of crimes against humanity should prompt the international community to reevaluate the nature of its engagement in Israel and Palestine and adopt an approach centered on human rights and accountability rather than solely on the stalled “peace process.” Countries should establish a UN commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Israel and Palestine and a UN global envoy for the crimes of persecution and apartheid with a mandate to mobilize international action to end persecution and apartheid worldwide.

Countries should condition arms sales and military and security assistance to Israel on Israeli authorities taking concrete and verifiable steps toward ending their commission of these crimes. Countries should vet agreements, cooperation schemes, and all forms of trade and dealing with Israel to screen for those directly contributing to committing the crimes, mitigate the human rights impacts and, where not possible, end activities and funding found to facilitate these serious crimes.

“While much of the world treats Israel’s half-century occupation as a temporary situation that a decades-long ‘peace process’ will soon cure, the oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution,” Roth said. “Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognize this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.”

ENDS

I regret to say that because I am extremely preoccupied with my own legal case (which is of course largely its purpose) I have quickly read through the 223 page full report but not had time fully to study and analyse. It contains some very powerful graphics.




The strength of the report lies in its systematic comparison of the structural system of Israeli rule with the formal definition of the crime of Apartheid in the Statute of Rome and the Apartheid Convention, both widely ratified and important documents of international law. This perforce leads to less concentration than is possible on the outrageous acts of individual cruelty, but shows them to be systemic and part of a much wider design.

The Statute of Rome defines the international crime of apartheid as:

inhumane acts… 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 of maintaining that regime.

The Apartheid Convention defines apartheid as:

inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.

I do not believe anybody can sincerely deny that the situation in Palestine meets these criteria, even if attempts are made to justify how we got here. If you have not done so, you may like to read my previous personal article on why Israel is an apartheid state, which draws on my experience as FCO Desk Officer for South Africa when it was the original apartheid state.

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230 thoughts on “Human Rights Watch Confirms Israel is an Apartheid State

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  • Squeeth

    I didn’t need this corp-0-rat organisation of imperial stooges to tell me about apartheid in zionist-antisemite occupied Palestine. The news only makes me wonder who will benefit? Perhaps it’s a rebuke from American Caesar to warn the antisemites off Iran?

    • David G

      This report may be, to some extent, a principled albeit belated recognition by HRW of the reality in Israel/Palestine, but I think we’re also starting to see some repercussions on the part of the Democratic Party and their allies in response to Netanyahu’s openly siding with the Republicans against them during the Obama and Trump years.

      It’s still difficult to imagine leading Dems (Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, et al.) ever abandoning the rhetoric of Israel as closest ally and forever friend, but at a time when all non-“deplorables” and anti-“Neanderthals” want to at least be seen as condemning everything associated with Trump’s Republicans, Netanyahu’s shortsighted and (I think) unprecedented public side-picking in Washington has created some political space to criticize Israel without being cast out of the ranks of establishment respectability which hasn’t previously existed.


      [ Mod: To post your reply as an independent comment, paste the text into the white box between the end of the article and the start of the comments section, and click the black button marked ‘Post Comment’. ]

  • Ian

    Excellent graphics which distil many of the points, and will be very useful for groups and individuals to circulate. There are vast numbers of people who have no idea of the situation there, largely because of the reluctance of the media to tangle with the thought police. These graphics sum it up very well, in a succinct way.

    • Joe Mellon

      The key to the solution of the Israel situation is the US. Is the US ‘Stop! Do a reasonable and fair peace deal’ – as Bush I / Baker did in 1992. Baker: “they don’t vote for us anyway” – then Israel has no choice but to comply. Just as original apartheid state South Africa did in the 90’s: Cold War over the US said ‘Game Over’.
      Israel’s whole strategy has been to keep US politics and opinion on a very short leash (see Walt and Mearsheimer) mostly using AIPAC.
      The importance of what Craig is pointing out is: it seems to be ‘Game Over’ (at least for unconditional support) for Israel in the US, especially among liberal Jews.

      • Ian

        Far easier said than done in the US, where AIPAC and lots of other institutions exist solely to prevent exactly what you are talking about, and have extraordinary influence and power, not just over legislation, but over individual senators, policy makers etc. To make the slightest deviation from established policy is to invite a tsunami of smears, criticism, defunding and other attacks. It takes a lot of character and a very strong base to resist that. There are a few, but not enough.

      • Stevie Boy

        Hardly game over.
        The amounts of money raised by lobbying groups is huge. The ‘Friends of Israel’ can, and do, make or break US politicians.
        And, let’s not forget the USA continues to pour tens of billions into Israel every year with no obligations or strings attached. Why would any country do that when their own peoples have insufficient healthcare, social support and education.
        Yeah, Israel is an apartheid state, so what ? What is the USA going to do about it ? Boycotts, Divest, Sanctions ? Sweet Fanny Adams, I’d guess.

  • Joe Mellon

    The background to Craigs most recent articles is that he may be sentenced to prison on May 7th…
    If the intention of the court was to hold that sword over Craig’s head so he would ‘behave’ (toe the establishment line), then we can see that it has not worked: which means we all have a duty to support Craig in the coming months. There may well be a lengthy and expensive appeal. It is our freedom Craig is fighting for.

  • John A

    It is as Pinter said in his Nobel speech: It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter.

    Unfortunately, nothing will fundamentally change until fundamental change can be forced on the world.

  • iain

    An amazing report from a circle where telling the truth about Israel is the greatest taboo of all and had been becoming an ever greater one. Might this development be the one that pulls the rug out from under the west’s fanatically pro-Israel faux-left, people like the Murrells, the Labour right and their pet journal the Guardian? It certainly leaves them looking embarrassingly exposed.

  • nevermind

    I would like to second Joe Mellon’s thoughts, we all must support Craig. Its all of us who are responsible for change in Palestine, the informed slightly more than those who have swallowed the past zionist excesses and excuses from our MSM. Thanks for pointing to this groundbreaking news, Craig, it is very likely to be hung up behind gold wall paper in No.10.

    I wonder what the newly appointed ambassador to Palestine and Israel Tzipi Hotoveley will make of this important press release. Being of the same hue as Golda Meir, she has form in justifying the Apartheid tactics used by her fraudulent King Bibi.

  • Giyane

    Apartheid is similar to the groupthink situation Craig describes when he was working at the FCO. You believe the tripe in the daytime and bin it when you leave the office.

    Racism is the unconscious approval of all ideas that give oneself an advantage against others, coinciding with an intellectual awareness of the injustice that causes. Unfortunately switching from the right side of the brain to the left is just a blip that is as instantaneously corrected.

    International law is wholly absent in the making of modern Israel. This is just part of a process by which Israel has trashed all its neighbours and now seeks legitimacy in the eyes of the world . Next it will start to take over the running of all the neighbours it has trashed. Cameron’s decision to allow British foreign aid to be used for peacekeeping means that Israel will now needs to be seen as benign benefactor to all the neighbours it has used us to destroy

    The game has changed, but very much for the worse, as Israel begins to metamorphosis its neighbours into a new Zionist empire called the Greater Israel.
    All planned years ago. Nothing new here.

    • Giyane

      Even judge Baraitser had a momentary blip from right to left brain when she was listening to descriptions of torture and anal rape in Iraq. But not enough of a blip to throw out the entire case about extrafiting Assange to the US.

    • Fwl

      Left side of the brain is a tool calculating and without vision. The right is not so much a conscience but more a radar scanning seeing what is really there rather than what we have chosen to focus on. It is the right which sets one’s own big picture or personal Overton Window. It’s the right which is (or should be) master. The left is the servant. When the position is reversed man is a fallen robot. See Iain McGilchrist for more.

  • JeremyT

    Thank you for your summary background to the HRW report. This is a landmark report and will make interesting reading most of all for the authoritative setting out of truths.
    So often these are lost in the ‘antisemitic’ smearing that defends the so-called democracy of Israel, the abject failure of the Balfour Declaration to provide equity and a future for the residents of Palestine and the ambiguities that allow a nuclear-armed state to ignore international law.
    Obviously this isn’t just Jews!
    Western anglo-judean interests permeate our culture in US and UK, making us all complicit. Christians can now awake. This is not a Zion to celebrate, it is an entrenchment of racism, chauvinism and exclusion in our name. And now a little boy has shown it has no clothes!

  • Bob (original)

    And to state the bleedin’ obvious…

    Mr.Roth will have anticipated that he will inevitably be subjected to some pretty horrendous ad hominem attacks from numerous sources across the political and media spectrum.

    Got to discourage any ‘non-compliant’ opinions on Israel – and be angrily dismissive of any legal basis for that opinion.

  • Yonatan S

    On 12 January 2021, a report by B’Tselem was even more forthright. B’Tselem is the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Its report was titled:

    “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”

    https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid

    Their report seems to have been disappeared from, or rather never appeared in, the MSM. So why is HRW getting all the publicity now? So the statement can be denounced as pure ‘anti-semitism’ and the apartheid ‘claims’ whitewashed away?

    Israel has been de facto apartheid for many years, possibly from its inception. It became de jure apartheid with the passing of its Nation State law, originally proposed in 2011, and passed into law in 2018.

  • Pigeon English

    One of the more fascinating testimonies for me is of Miko Peled.
    He is the son of a Israeli General and Officer himself and now pro Palestinian activist.
    E.g He explains how Israelis knew that Arabs were not ready for 1967 war and Israelis manufactured a threat to start “pre-emptive” war. If I remember well his dad told him that.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxeh7L84CM8

    • Pigeon English

      Apart from Oil what had Gaddafi, Sadam Hussein, Assad and Iran had in common?
      Support for Palestinians!
      Is Russia’s support for Assad reason for Russia-phobia?
      Since Saudi Arabia stopped supporting Palestinians they become mates with Israel.

    • bevin

      It was quite clear at the time. At the time that Egypt was alleged to be attacking Israel, the best troops in the Egyptian forces were in Yemen, fighting a western (largely UK) backed insurgency to reinstate the Imanate, crush the Nasser backed government in sa’ana and defend Aden from its own people who wanted reunification with Yemen.
      It took an enormous propaganda effort to depict the 1967 war as anything but naked aggression by Israel.

  • Coldish

    Thank you, Craig, for drawing attention to this report. Those interested in how things got the way they are could do worse than read ‘Israel: an Apartheid State‘ by Israeli scholar Uri Davis (1987, Zed Books, London, 145p). I have the second impression (1990). Full of figures as well as facts, it describes in detail the legal provisions and administrative procedures, many of which can be traced back to regulations and practices in force during the British colonial mandate, that institutionalize racial discrimination in Israel. It makes grim reading. And conditions have got much worse since 1990.

  • Stevie Boy

    It’s ironic and shameful that honest, decent people have to wait for right wing/zionist (and obviously American) based organisations to ‘fess up to Israel’s atrocities before they are taken seriously by the rest of the f*ckwits for something that’s been bleeding obvious for decades.
    Maybe next we can expect the Daily Mail to support Julian Assange or the SNP to support AS ?
    And yes, I’ve read the article and it sticks in my craw.

  • Ian

    And let us not forget B’Tselem’s recent report on Israeli apartheid, which comprehensively details the deliberate destruction and negation of Palestinian rights, often to their own homes, their own land, their water, livestock, orchards, olive groves, travel, health care, work etc etc. Nobody who has been there or reads these meticulously documented reports can deny it, or not feel appalled and deeply moved by the privations and humiliations they suffer daily.

    https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid

    And yet, newspapers and social media are stuffed full of people in total denial, paid trolls and harassers whose job it is to keep this stuff out of sight and pretend it is somehow ‘biased’. They have mounted a colossal and largely successful campaign to keep it out of sight and off the radar, ruthlessly targeting people who care enough to raise the issue.

  • N_

    Part of the Lobby seems to be rearranging its shtick in the changed circumstances of the Biden presidency.

    There must be sanctions against the Jewish-supremacist entity known as “Israel” – just as there were against the white-supremacist regime in South Africa. It is a pity the name of South Africa wasn’t changed, but if it was called Whiteland it would have been.

  • Pyewacket

    Thanks for this informative piece Craig, and particularly for including the graphics, oh boy…talk about a picture telling thousand words. Yes, the HRW have bravely, if done in honesty and with good intent, taken a controversial position in publishing this report, and it’s fair to give credit where it’s due! Something you didn’t mention, and I rarely ever see mentioned with regards to Israel, is the issue of equal access to Water resources, not an insignificant topic in a very dry land. Seems an age ago now, but I recall having a look at some of the detail in the Deal of the Century package put together by Trump/Kushner, and control of the Aquifers was entirely under Israeli domination.

  • Dave

    Just don’t hold your breath for Starmer or Bozo.

    UK ex-deputy foreign minister Alan Duncan accused the lobby group Conservative Friends of Israel of “disgusting interference in our public life… on the back of donor power… A lot of things do not happen… for fear of offending this lobby.” https://bit.ly/3fYR3pn

  • Athanasius

    I’m a right wing, small c conservative and a capitalist and I’ve been saying this for years, and getting called an anti-Semite for my trouble. Zionists throw that around with the same complete cynicism as leftists when they’re screaming “racist” at anyone who doesn’t see things their way. Capitalists belive in property rights, so we object to theft. What’s right is right, and stealing other people’s land isn’t.

    • `Carlyle+Moulton

      “What’s right is right, and stealing other people’s land isn’t.”

      Obviously you are unfamiliar with the concept of UNPEOPLE, TORTURABLES or DISPOSABLES.

      These are members of species homo sapiens sapiens who are not human in the sense of being entitled to what bleeding-heart chattering-class lefties refer to as HUMAN RIGHTS,

  • David

    That is pretty devastating.

    Just to defend the Guardian, they did cover this report and the domestic human rights report too:

    The Guardian (Tue 27 Apr 2021)Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, rights group says: Human Rights Watch calls on international criminal court to investigate ‘systematic discrimination’ against Palestinians

    The Guardian (Tue 12 Jan 2021)Israel is a non-democratic apartheid regime, says rights group: Embassy spokesperson rejects ‘false claims’ in report that alleges policies perpetuate supremacy of Jews over Palestinians

  • N_

    Kenneth Roth’s move sounds more like a member of the Ascendancy shifting formal position in the now changed circumstances of the Joe Biden presidency.

    Should we file it in the same category as for example Jewish organisations that say things like “Israel is a bit sh*t at the moment”?

    Some who call Israel an “apartheid” state have integrity – Jimmy Carter being an example – but it can also happen that the term is used in respect of Israel in a confusionist way. The white-supremacist regime in South Africa did not carry out the equivalent of a Bloody Sunday every fortnight against either the townships or the bantustans. There was no equivalent of a Gaza massacre in South Africa. There was no continuing war against a practically unarmed civilian population having a few rockets but no air force, no standing army, no tanks, while precisely such forces were used against it. The propaganda machine for South African apartheid had scumbags like Margaret Thatcher on their side, but South Africa didn’t provide security for US nuclear (both civilian and military) installations the way Israel does.

    One has to ask whether speaking Dutch is the way forward. “Ethnic supremacism” is a much clearer term than “apartheid”. Thus one can speak of

    * the white supremacism of the Confederacy of southern states;
    * white supremacism in South Africa;
    * Chinese supremacism in Singapore; and
    * Jewish supremacism in the form of the Israeli regime in Palestine.

    Those who talk of Israeli apartheid while baulking at the terms “Jewish racism” and “Jewish supremacism” should be treated with suspicion.

    Which is not to try to say this is purely a terminological issue. Quite the contrary. For all the “formal” legal argument, the logic should be as follows:

    1) crimes against humanity require criminal prosecutions

    2) apartheid regimes whose existence is considered to be a crime against humanity must be boycotted, divested from and sanctioned until they are brought to their knees and caused to disappear.

  • John Monro

    For a more nuanced discussion on the HRW report, here’s an article from the Jerusalem Post https://www.jpost.com/opinion/israel-is-not-an-apartheid-state-editorial-666516 . (Irony warning) But Craig you start your post here with what I consider a bit of a pious or naïve hope, suggesting that this might become a watershed moment in mainstream acceptance of what Israel has become. Really? Will the mainstream media even publish this, will the BBC cover it? Will a single citizen in the UK other than those of a left-wing, moral activists persuasion even care? If they can’t even care about the morally negligent and racist government that rules them in the own country? Palestinians are Arabs, if they’re rich and despotic, they’re incredibly welcome to come and buy the UK’s poshest properties, stables and landscapes and hobnob with Royalty and the chosen, but if they’re poor and dispossessed, well, we’ve got gunships to keep them away and Israel is doing us a great favour in keeping them in their place. The moral force that applied to South Africa is no longer present in politics in the West and the West’s support for Israel is based on Israel’s strategic importance in the Middle East and as a proxy warrior for the West in their continued interference. Nothing will be allowed to change this. I’d like to hear Keir Starmer being rigorously interviewed about this report, but it won’t happen.

    • N_

      @John – There are some rich Palestinians in London for sure, but do you know of any who are in the billionaire bracket alongside Gulf Arab despot hobnobbers with royalty such as the Makhtoums, or who are even in the centimillionaire bracket?

      the West’s support for Israel is based on Israel’s strategic importance in the Middle East and as a proxy warrior for the West in their continued interference

      That is mistaken. It’s a view that is spread about in order to tar those who recognise the power of the Jewish rich in the US (who as an organised force support Israel to the hilt) as racists, and in order to weaken the BDS movement.

      The Palestinians are no threat to the west.

      And the Gulf despots don’t rely on Israel to keep their populations subjugated. There is a “last resort” argument but it’s very tenuous. Look at something like the Paris Commune. Prussian forces didn’t bother suppressing it – they left that job to reactionary French forces.

      • N_

        Of course there have been cases when foreign armies have suppressed popular revolts (e.g. Warsaw 1944), but none where they haven’t used land forces. Come the day when the Gulf princes start feeling the heat from the population, an “Entebbe” won’t work. An evacuation of the princes in planes weighed down with gold (cf. Batista fleeing Cuba) might I suppose use some Israeli support, but the princes will have long had their own contingency plans. If you haven’t got an evacuation plan you can put into operation at a moment’s notice then you aren’t much of a dictator and they’ll laugh at you in Zurich.

        OK admittedly the optic of “either a repression by land forces or an Entebbe” is simplistic and there could be a help-out in Riyadh or wherever using “non-conventional” weapons, but is somebody here going to defend the position that Israel is the “policeman of last resort” for the Gulf despots”??

        • Giyane

          N_

          Policeman of last resort.

          Racists invariably have a grading system of acceptability, , a comprehensive caste system, not just one bete noire.
          So where do Arabs come on the scale of Israeli contemptibility? Probably quite high, because of shared monotheism and culture. Anglo Saxons and Teuts are probably at the bottom.of the scale of Gentile ignorance.

          The Palestinians are incarcerated and oppressed because Israel wants their land, not necessarily because they are despised. Land that was removed from them in their belief by their own God and fellow observers of their religion.

          Strictly speaking this is internecine jealousy, not apartheid. The relationship of the Jews to us Europeans is genuine racial supremacism, which we don’t like.
          Trump’s son in law organised the torture of the Saudi royal family, ostensibly to retrieve assets, but in reality to confirm the pecking order.

          The concept of torturing your own brothers is so completely alien to Western cosmopolitan liberal society that we are unable understand it. The nearest we can get to describing Jews telling Arabs who’s boss in this village, is the concept of apartheid.

          But it isn’t really racist supremacy, it’s tribal supremacy, a concept liberal Europeans like us no longer understand.

          • Giyane

            N_
            An example of Jew to Gentile racism was Baraitser to Assange. Nothing he could ever do or say would ever lift him out of her total contempt, except in the end his vulnerability. That contempt for us is deeply embarrassing for us Europeans to admit to, because it means that we ourselves are equally despised by the Semite.
            Here was a European Gentile interfering with ” matters that do not concern’ya ” in Middle Eastern politics.

            So in answer to your question, yes.
            The West uses Israel to.police the Arab billionaire despots , who would take absolutely no notice of any of our opinions at all.

          • Giyane

            Lysias

            Since technically both Jews and Arabs are Semites, I wonder whether the sting in the label of anti-Semitism as applied to Corbyn is ‘ here is another non-semite interfering with private matters inside the Semitic tribes which are none of his business and outside his comprehension. ‘

            If two neighbouring black African tribes were doing the same as Israeil to Palestinian, would we call it apartheid, or something else?

            So in answer to your question, in the present circumstances all Palestinian issuues are also Israeli issues, but Israel also has shared and opposing interests with all its neighbours and with most of the rest of the world, and Iraq is in their view their business, as Susan says.

            Maybe Israel needs to be told that Iraq is none of their business, but then of course it would also be none of ours.

        • John Monrp

          Unsure as to how you interpret my post as assuming that Palestinians are a threat to the west. Israel’s proxy extends to the whole ME. cheers

    • johny conspiranoid

      ” But Craig you start your post here with what I consider a bit of a pious or naïve hope, suggesting that this might become a watershed moment in mainstream acceptance of what Israel has become. “

      Yes, this looks like a shot across the bows of Israel over something, possibly nothing to do directly with the palestinians. If things like it start appearing regularly in the NYT and WP then that will signal a major policy change by the US deep state.

  • Luke 8:17

    Israels 1967 conquest of Jerusalem, WB, Golan and Sinai was FIVE years in the planning. Requiring key input re the Golan Heights by master spy Eli Cohen, and the removal of JFK in 1963 since an amenable POTUS would be required to supply the vast amount of arms needed to simultaneously face three Arab Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian armies. The concurrent USS Liberty false flag was part of the plot too, to allow LBJ to enter the war thus saving his faltering presidency from the following years election. If it had succeeded Israel would today still be holding one bank of the Suez Canal with a permanently weakened Egypt bombed by the US unable to do anything about it. Netanyahu has even boasted in the Knesset about “grassy knolling” the gentiles about the JFK murder, there is only one media force that can have kept the truth from surfacinh for so long.Having conspired together, the great satan now remains permanently in the grip of the zionists now occupying Palestine, and they can therefore carry out their state apartheid with complete impunity.

  • james

    thanks for sharing this craig.. i am presently reading ‘the gun and the olive branch’…. it is never too late to change things for the better… as the usa-uk empire eclipses, i suspect israel will have to change too, if they wish to continue…

  • Riuch

    It needed them to say that? What a farce and a waste of time. A people who cannot live with others and cause endless trouble.

    • Tez

      “A people who cannot live with others and cause endless trouble.”

      I assume you are referring to Jews. If so, Theodore Herzl, in his thesis “The Jewish State”, came to the similar conclusion in his introduction:

      “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized–for instance, France–until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.”

      I suspect however that he might disagree that they “cause endless trouble”.

      An interesting paragraph that poses to me, not the Jewish question whatever that might be, but the question regarding the chicken and the egg.

      • `Carlyle+Moulton

        The Jews cannot be safe until that vile religion Christianity is gone from the Earth.

        Those Christians who wrote the gospels were Roman citizens and had a political agenda. They wanted Rome to consider them as good citizens. But how can one expect one’s state to consider one a good citizen while one blames that state for murdering one’s God?

        Unfortunately Israel’s actions have probably succeeded in converting Islam into an institution as equally Jew Hating as Christianity.

  • Robert Dyson

    Neither Jews nor Arabs are being done any good by the power games being played in the Middle East. On the other topic: Craig, you are in my thoughts and I hope for sanity to come to your legal case. You are a good person who should be treasured by society not traduced.

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