From the Editors 4 February 2022
We talk about how apartheid is defined in international law and what this means in terms of ending Israel’s persecution of the Palestinian people.
Apartheid is one of the most serious crimes against humanity and falls within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
The United States, Germany and other European governments have either rejected Amnesty’s findings or remained silent. That is hardly surprising given their practically unconditional support for Israel.
In Germany, in particular, defending Israel no matter what crimes it commits, is perversely seen as “atonement” for the German government’s genocide of millions of Jewish people.
For that reason, Amnesty’s German chapter is refusing to promote or organize events around the apartheid report.Nonetheless, despite some shortcomings in its analysis that my colleague Maureen Murphy points out, it is highly significant that a global campaigning liberal organization like Amnesty has finally accepted what Palestinians themselves have been saying for decades.
“Palestinians, through their resistance, in all its forms, are forcing even these liberal human rights organizations to recognize the reality” of Israeli apartheid, I told Norton.
I also explained how the aim of Zionism – the European colonial Jewish nationalist movement that founded Israel – was not to dominate Palestinians and rule over them, but to remove them from the land altogether.
“The goal is to take the land and get rid of the people,” I explained. “So ultimately, we have to understand that settler-colonialism is genocidal.”Israel’s efforts to counter the growing recognition of its apartheid regime amount to desperate smears that almost any criticism is motivated purely by hatred of Jews.
But Israel’s strategy of labeling nearly every critic an “anti-Semite” is not working. Israel can simply no longer claim that opposition to its brutal regime exists only on the political fringes in the Western countries it relies on for arms, financing and political support.
Watch the video of our discussion at the top of this page, or listen on SoundCloud.
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