Israel’s allies must combat its rampant human right abuse

29th Jan 2021
Israel’s allies must combat its rampant human right abuse

Israeli soldiers man Kalandia border checkpoint from occupied Jerusalem to occupied West Bank
(Photo: Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency)

 

In 2019, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, arrogantly professed that his country was “the nation-state of the Jewish people” underlined by the controversial basic nationality law passed a year earlier. Israel is “not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote on Instagram in a reference to the country’s Palestinian and other Arab populations it illegally occupies and accommodates. It should, therefore, not come as a surprise that Israel’s largest human rights NGO has labelled the state, an “apartheid regime”.

The declaration was made by B’Tselem, which was founded in 1989 as The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories striving to end Israel’s occupation. It was the “only way to achieve a future that ensures human rights, democracy, liberty and equality to all people, Palestinian and Israeli alike, living on the bit of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,” it argues. In its latest explosive report, it spells out that the country cannot be a democracy and an occupier.

The common perception in public, political, legal and media discourse is that there are two separate regimes which operate side by side inside and outside claimed borders whose final status is supposed to be determined in future negotiations.

More than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea but under a single rule. The entire area is organized “advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians,” the report says, describing it as “a regime of Jewish supremacy.”

Using the term previously associated with South Africa, no punches are pulled in describing Israel as an ‘Apartheid regime.’ Such accusations have been levelled at Israel virtually ever since the establishment of a Jewish state over 70 years ago, but this is the first time it has been charged with the crime by the largest and most influential human rights group inside the country. “There is not a single square inch in the territory Israel controls where a Palestinian and a Jew are equal,” says B’Tselem Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad.

Yet, most governments shy away not only from condemning Israel as the world’s largest breacher of international norms but also not wanting to take any action against it for human rights abuses. Time is overdue that Israel’s allies begin to have sanctions against the country. It is a moral duty of all if there is to be any future for the Palestinian people.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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