Human Rights Watch, headquartered in New York, has issued a lengthy legal analysis declaring that Israel’s government is committing racist crimes against the people of occupied Palestine and alleged it with apartheid. The serious accusation of apartheid is revolutionary because it is the first time that rights organizations has used the word.
The 213-page report called “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”, has fully researched the issue. It says Israel intents to preserve Jewish Israelis’ dominance over Palestinians and rejects Israel’s frequently said defense rhetoric to justify its oppressive policies. It correctly singles out the use of military law to guarantee a Jewish majority through Israel’s and the occupied West Bank’s joint territories.
The central conclusion of HRW’s (Human Rights Watch) report is that the Israeli government not only encourages violence against non-Jews in all regions under its jurisdiction — including its own 2 million Arab people within the state’s 1948 boundaries — but also that an incredible amount of massive human rights violations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip all equate to apartheid.
The research was an attempt to shake the Israeli regime’s Zionist pillars, particularly if statements made by HRW officials, as stated in various media, are any evidence. Human Rights Watch’s Middle East branch, has an interim director, Eric Goldstein, who stated the report’s aim is to demonstrate that Israeli atrocities against Palestinians are not isolated events.
He announced that “for years, the international community — and many Israelis — have the tendency to think of the cases we document as the unfortunate symptoms of a lack of peace. But the peace process has unfortunately gone nowhere and the abuses have just become more entrenched.”
Mahmoud Abbas would undoubtedly respond to a limited but important section of the HRW study based on a matter that continues to enrage Palestinians. Leading representatives of Palestine‘s numerous groups have been harshly critical of the PA-Israel security agreement for some time, but Abbas has so far refused to budge on the issue.
If the PA eventually breaks its ties with Israel’s genocidal intelligence forces in response to HRW’s advice, it will not only provide credibility to the paper, but it will also put an end to Israel’s illegitimate and unethical security dragnet in the occupied West Bank.
Another critical demand is that the US condition military assistance to Israel on the occupation state halts its commission of segregation and repression crimes. The importance of this recommendation should not be overshadowed by semantics, for it reaffirms the Palestinians’ clear argument that US assistance is the single most powerful facilitator of Israel’s crimes. As Abbas poses a critical decision, US President Joe Biden must decide whether or not to continue pouring money into Israel’s almost endless treasury.
HRW also makes the case for all countries to place targeted sanctions and other limitations on Israeli officials included in the article. This suggestion, while not asking for a complete boycott, would help the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in its nonviolent fight against the settler-colonial regime.
The research would put many governments’ political will to the test. Would they follow the UN’s decision to impose penalties, or will they shirk their obligations as UN members ostensibly committed to defending basic human rights values?
HRW has discovered that, besides apartheid, Israel is guilty of “persecution” under international law because it denies Palestinians “key fundamental rights” based on “their identity as Palestinians.” This is an enticing legal case regarding Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, which goes far beyond what is needed to run an occupation.
Since Israeli massacres are committed on a regular basis, the cases it cites are fairly well known and recorded. Illegal land seizures, forced confiscation of Palestinian homes for the exclusive use of Jewish settlers, and the precarious status of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem are among them.
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