Amnesty International is yet another reputable organisation that has declared Israel as an apartheid state, a fact Palestinians had long believed and experienced.

In its 280-page comprehensive report titled “Israel’s Aparthied against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crimes against humanity, Amnesty has systematically analyzed institutionalised discrimination committed by Israel against Palestinians considering then an inferior non-Jewish racial group.

The declaration by Amnesty has been welcomed by a number of Palestinian rights and advocacy groups including the BDS movement calling the  international community to enforce an end to apartheid against the Palestinian people.

“Australia must stop denying, minimising or excusing Israel’s criminal actions, and instead join with others in the international community in calling for an end to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, dating from 1967; the scrapping of the racist Nation State law of 2018 and the dozens of laws and regulations that discriminate against non-Jews, and for Palestinians to be facilitated in exercising their lawful right of return to the homes from which they were driven out at the inception of the State of Israel in 1948”, said Jake Lynch, patron of BDS Australia and Associate Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

The report begins with a quote from the former Israeli Prime Minister saying in a March 2019 statement that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… [but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.” Under international and human law, describe such a statement as racist.

Israeli laws, policies, and practices against the Palestinian people violate international human rights law, the Apartheid Convention, and the Rome Statute.

Apartheid constitutes the creation and maintenance of a system or regime of oppression and domination by one racial group over another. Israel systematically pursues a policy of discrimination against a race, Amnesty reported. All the rules of Israel are for the benefit of Jewish Israelis – a system of apartheid. The report concludes the following:

  1. Israel considers and treats Palestinians as an inferior non-Jewish racial group.

  2. Israel pursues segregation systematically and highly institutionalized through laws, policies, and practices to prevent Palestinians from claiming and enjoying equal rights with Jewish Israelis.

  3. Israel oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people.

  4. It negates the rights of Palestinian refugees residing outside Israel and the OPT to return to their homes.

  5. Israel segments the Palestinians into different geographical areas and divides them differently.

  6. It prevents the Palestinians from exercising their fundamental human rights.

  7. The legal fragmentation of the Palestinian population serves as a foundational element of the regime of oppression and domination of Palestinians.

  8. Israel denies the possibility of realizing equality within Israel and the OPT.

  9. Israel denies nationality and residence, family life and places severe restrictions on freedom of movement.

  10. Israel violates their social and economic rights, including access to housing, adequate living standards, livelihoods, work, healthcare, food security, water and sanitation, and education.

The report concludes that Israel’s institutionalised segregation and discrimination system against Palestinians amounts to a method of apartheid and a severe violation of Israel’s human rights.

“The importance of the report cannot be understated, with the depth and breadth of research conducted clearly identifying the systemic methods used to oppress and dominate Palestinians,” APAN President, Bishop George Browning said.

Amnesty asserts that all of Israel’s civilian administration and military authorities and governmental and quasi-governmental institutions enforce a system of apartheid against Palestinians.

Amnesty believes that Israel continues to perpetrate widespread and systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian population against a backdrop of decades of state-sponsored discrimination, segregation, and persecution.

Amnesty report documents inhumane acts, serious human rights violations, and crimes committed against the Palestinian population under international law. It examines specifically the brutal actions of forcible transfer, administrative detention and torture, unlawful killings and serious injuries, and the denial of fundamental freedoms or persecution committed against the Palestinian population in Israel and the OPT.

Amnesty concludes that the apartheid state of Israel commits these violations intending to maintain this system and amount to the crime against humanity of apartheid under both the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute. The report recommends actions at several levels.

However, the most conclusive and practical recommendation is for businesses and nations having trade relations with Israel. Next, it recommends adequate procedures and codes of conduct following international standards to ensure that you do not promote apartheid. Finally, it suggests ceasing such ties if apartheid continues to unleash its crimes.

Media release by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia

Feb 2, 2022

Amnesty International declares Israel guilty of apartheid

The declaration by Amnesty International that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, in its treatment of Palestinians, must lead to enforcement action by the international community, BDS Australia said today. The AI report, which echoes previous findings by Human Rights Watch, as well as two Israeli human rights monitoring groups, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, should end any dispute about the nature of Israel’s crimes against humanity, the group added – the only topic for discussion now should be how to bring them to an end.

“Australia must stop denying, minimising or excusing Israel’s criminal actions, and instead join with others in the international community in calling for an end to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, dating from 1967; the scrapping of the racist Nation State law of 2018 and the dozens of laws and regulations that discriminate against non-Jews, and for Palestinians to be facilitated in exercising their lawful right of return to the homes from which they were driven out at the inception of the State of Israel in 1948”, said Jake Lynch, patron of BDS Australia and Associate Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

“We now have a comprehensive, evidence-based report, running to over 200 pages, from the world’s most respected human rights monitoring group, a Nobel Peace laureate in its own right, setting out exactly how Israel is in breach of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The oppression of Palestinians continues only with the collusion of international actors including Australia, which promotes trade including the sale of deadly weapons with Israel, as well as offering diplomatic protection from the consequences of its crimes.

This must cease”, said BDS Australia convenor and Palestinian refugee, Hilmi Dabbagh. “The tide is turning and no amount of spin from the Israel lobby and Zionist supporters in Australia can stop it. Desperate calls for anti-BDS legislation and claims of antisemitism from those organisations which support Israel’s colonialist and apartheid policies are falling on deaf ears and rightly so,” according to Dr Peter Slezak, Deputy Convenor of BDS Australia who is the son of holocaust survivors.

“Palestinians welcome this report, on top of those from Human Rights Watch andothers, as long-overdue recognition of the reality we are living with every day.

Apartheid for us means constant violent attacks both by ‘soldiers’ of the Israeli occupation force and by armed racist thugs from the settler movement, driving us out of our homes and ancestral lands, denying our rights to freedom of movement and assembly. This is our struggle, but it is also a crime against humanity and a scar on the world’s conscience. The world now must take action to bring accountability, isolate apartheid and hasten its end”, said Hiba Farrar, BDS Australia committee member and Palestinian lawyer.

Further Information: Contact: Jake Lynch 0420 980010

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia

PO Box 31, Enmore Post Office, Enmore NSW 2042

www.bdsaustralia.net.au; [email protected]

Amnesty International demands Israeli authorities be held accountable for committing the crime of Apartheid against Palestinians

Feb 1, 2022

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network welcomes the report released by Amnesty International confirming Israeli policies against Palestinians fit the definition of the international crime of apartheid.

We have seen these policies enacted on a whole-of-society scale through mass seizures of Palestinian land and property, arbitrary murders, forcible transfers, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship. It’s also displayed on an individual level through forced family home expulsions, and discriminatory judicial procedures such as the ongoing trial of Mohammad El Halabi.

The report follows a long list of other institutions and human rights organisations – international, Palestinian, and Israeli – that have analysed and confirmed the policies of successive Israeli governments constitute apartheid. These include the Al Mezan Center For Human Rights, B’tselem, and Human Rights Watch, amongst others.

“The importance of the report cannot be understated, with the depth and breadth of research conducted clearly identifying the systemic methods used to oppress and dominate Palestinians,” APAN President, Bishop George Browning said.

“It also explains how all Palestinians are impacted by apartheid, whether they live in the diaspora, are citizens of Israel, or reside in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

APAN Vice-President, Nasser Mashni, is a descendant of Palestinian refugees who fled their homes during the 1948 Nakba. He has experienced the apartheid policies first-hand as a Palestinian living in the diaspora.

“Apartheid meant that when my father passed away and his dying wish was to be buried next to his mother less than 10 km from Jerusalem in the West Bank, I had to call the Israeli Embassy for permission,” Mr Mashni said.

“Our requests were denied, and my father was buried in Melbourne.

“The only reason he was denied his dying wish was because he wasn’t Jewish.”

APAN joins the call for the International Criminal Court to consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigation in the OPT. We also call on the Australian Government to endorse the findings of the ICC and bring the perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.

Without justice for these crimes against humanity, it will not be possible to have a just, comprehensive, and sustainable peace.

The full Amnesty International report can be accessed here.

For more information, contact Jarred – [email protected] – 0434 869 088