Russell Tribunal: "Israel Practices Apartheid"

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Russell Tribunal: "Israel Practices Apartheid"
By: HLRN
08 November 2011
 

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine has found that Israel`s practices against the Palestinian people are in breach of the prohibition of apartheid under the international law. After two days of intense inquiry and expert witness testimony, following the review of reams of documentation, the eminent jury of nine international experts delivered its conclusions at Cape Town on Monday, 7 November. The Tribunal concluded unanimously that “Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalized regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law.” The jury reached this conclusion having paid particular attention to the legal definition of apartheid and ensuring that each of the defining criteria was met. This included the following facts: “(i) that two distinct racial groups can be identified; (ii) that inhuman acts` are committed against the subordinate group; and (iii) that such acts are committed systematically in the context of an institutionalized regime of domination by one group over the other.” In their judgment, they considered the widespread evidence of, inter alia, “targeted killings”; the “use of lethal force” against peaceful demonstrators; and the torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians. The Tribunal declared that although the Palestinians living “under colonial military rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are subject to a particularly aggravated form of apartheid,” the apartheid system extends to Israeli treatment of Palestinian citizens within Israel, and that the State of Israel’s “rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid.” The Tribunal urged Israel to dismantle its apartheid system and called for the international community to put pressure on the occupying force through sanctions and severing ties with Israel. It called for the UN General Assembly to reconvene the Committee against Apartheid and list banks, corporations, and other organizations that support Israel. Joseph Schechla, HIC-HLRN coordinator, served as an expert witness to explain the mechanisms of institutionalized discrimination based on the superior civil status of “Jewish nationality” under Israeli law and organizations, with particular consequences for the indigenous Palestinian people’s human rights to housing, land, water and public services. He explained how Israeli “national” institutions (World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund and affiliates) and legal deference to them establish preferential treatment over mere “citizens” and others not holding “Jewish nationality” in territories under the effective control of Israel. HIC-HLRN’s representative also provided the Russell Tribunal with background to the international jurisprudence within the UN Human Rights System on Israel’s treaty obligations to prohibit discrimination, including observations of violations of the obligation to prohibit and combat apartheid. When called to testify, Schechla concluded that, whether it`s called apartheid or `hafrada,` the state and its constituent bodies maintain laws and policies of institutionalized discrimination. While the sessions were underway, the Tribunal`s website was hacked, which jurors described as a “precision attack.” At the same time, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) initiated a procedure to rescind the Israeli citizenship of an Arab member of the Knesset, Haneen Zoabi, who testified before the Russell Tribunal in Cape Town. Zoabi reacted by saying that Israel views every move for democracy as an attack on its racist system. She clarified, “We are demanding Israel…stop this racist system and…recognize equal rights for the Palestinians, because it is our homeland. We didn`t immigrate to Israel; it is Israel that immigrated to us.” “Even when we are struggling for equality, we are actually compromising, because we are the indigenous people and we are asking immigrants to give us equal rights,” Zoabi added. In response to the threat to Zoabi, the Tribunal delivered a letter to the South African government asking it to ensure that Israel takes no reprisals against those who testified in South Africa. Other expert witnesses testifying before the Russell Tribunal included François Dubuisson and Marianne Blume (Belgium), Luciana Coconi (Catalonia), Rafaelle Maison (France), David Keane (Ireland), Lea Tsemel, Ran Greenstein, Haneen Zoabi, Jazi Abu Kaf and Jeff Halper (Israel), Grazia Careccia, Mahmoud Hassan, Shawqi Issa, Ingrid Jaradat, Jamal Juma`a, Muhammad Khatib, Emily Schaeffer, Raji Sourani and Rafeef Ziadah (Palestine). Rev. Allan Boesak, Professor John Dugard, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Advocate Max du Plessis and Zwelinzima Vavi (South Africa) provided analysis from the perspective of apartheid system as carried out in southern Africa. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was formed in March 2009 to promote and sustain initiatives in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. The Tribunal is a part of the Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, that was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand Russell and hosted by French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre in 1966 to investigate and evaluate the military intervention in Vietnam. Subsequently, the Russell Tribunal convened to address the 1973 coup d’état in Chile (1975 and 1976), and in the form of the BRussells Tribunal (2004) as part of the World Tribunal on Iraq. Download Summary of Findings Télécharger les conclusions en français تحميل الاستنتاجات باللغة العربية

Themes
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Architecture
• Architecture
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Children
• Children
• Commodification
• Commodification
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Demographic manipulation
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Disability
• Disability
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Education
• Education
• Elderly
• Elderly
• Energy
• Energy
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Farmers/Peasants
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Gentrification
• Gentrification
• Health
• Health
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Housing crisis
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Immigrants
• Immigrants
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Informal settlements
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Land rights
• Landless
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Livelihoods
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Low income
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Property rights
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Refugees
• Refugees
• Religious
• Religious
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Research
• Research
• Right to the city
• Right to the city
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Stateless
• Stateless
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Tenants
• Tenants
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Women
• Women
• Youth
• Youth

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