THE Israeli Human Rights group B’Tselem has issued a paper stating that Israel is not a democracy but an ‘apartheid regime’ that systematically oppresses the Palestinians through military occupation and racist laws.
In the paper published yesterday, B’Tselem, for the first time in its 31-year history, calls Israel an ‘apartheid regime’ – which is criminal under international law – which uses ‘laws, practices and organised violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another.’
It added: ‘Israeli apartheid, which promotes the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians, was not born in one day or of a single speech. It is a process that has gradually grown more institutionalised and explicit, with mechanisms introduced over time in law and practice to promote Jewish supremacy.’
B’Tselem continues: ‘These accumulated measures, their pervasiveness in legislation and political practice, and the public and judicial support they receive – all form the basis for our conclusion that the bar for labelling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met.’
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later forcibly annexed East Jerusalem. Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
But Israel’s aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Gaza Strip has also been under an inhumane Israeli land, air and sea siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.
Elsewhere in its report, B’Tselem states: ‘A regime of Jewish supremacy exists from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This is apartheid.’
It goes on: ‘The entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organised under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians.’
The rights group continued that Israel is creating a system over all the occupied lands in which Jewish citizens have full rights while Palestinians are divided into four tiers with various levels of rights, but always below the Jews.
It insists that at the lowest end are the roughly two million Palestinians in Gaza, where the Israeli blockade gives the regime ‘effective control’.
Above them, are the roughly 2.7 million Palestinian ‘subjects’ in the West Bank, who live in ‘dozens of disconnected enclaves, under rigid military rule and without political rights.’
Next in its hierarchy are the roughly 350,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem al-Quds. They are offered Israeli citizenship, although many have refused on principle, and for those that try, the process has a high rejection rate. The highest tier is Arab-Israelis, who have full citizenship, but are also kept below Jewish citizens.
B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad concludes that ‘Israel is not a democracy that has a temporary occupation attached to it; it is one regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid.’
He also condemned the controversial ‘nation-state’ law that was passed by the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) in 2018, which ‘took the existing discrimination against Palestinians and turned it into an open constitutional principle.’
Israeli lawmakers have passed the so-called nation-state law. Under the controversial legislation, only Jews have the right of self-determination in Israel.
The law permits institutionalised discrimination in favour of Jews in settlement, housing, land development, citizenship, language and culture, according to B’Tselem. The rights group further explained that Israel has, over the past years, used the occupied land to build hundreds of communities for Jewish citizens – yet not a single one for Palestinian citizens.
Israel however is now going through an unprecedented crisis with the fall of the Netanyahu regime.
NOW is the time for Jewish workers to join hands with the Palestinian masses and youth to put an end to the racist Israeli state and extablish in its place the State of Palestine where Jews, Muslims and Christians will live side by side in peace and harmony!