‘Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism’, report

A new report on Israeli apartheid has recently been launched by a Palestinian coalition of human rights organizations, notably the Al-Haq organization amid an escalating Israeli crackdown on Palestinian human rights and advocacy work.

The report, titled, “Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism”, is a significant contribution to the growing recognition that Israel has established and maintained an institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression against the Palestinian people. It comes less than 4 months after an Israeli raid on its offices.

The report says the Israeli Apartheid regime is sustained through institutionalized impunity and by weakening the capacity of the indigenous Palestinian people and institutions to challenge the myriad human rights violations and international crimes maintaining this regime.

On 29 November 2022, Al-Haq launched its inaugural coalition report. Together leading Palestinian civil society organisations, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights (Al Mezan), Al-Quds University ‘Community Action Center’ (CAC), the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), ​and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), in this report explore Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people.

The report is a major Palestinian publication to expand the current international discourse on apartheid, and importantly, examines apartheid as a structural element of furthering Zionist settler colonialism on both sides of the Green Line and against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Further, the report illustrates the additional need to end Israel’s settler colonialism and the fulfilment of the Palestinian right to self-determination. The report adds clear Palestinian voices and analysis to the wider international calls demanding an end to Israel’s apartheid regime.

Palestinian civil society demand decolonization and dismantling of Israel’s settler colonialism and apartheid regime, the fulfilment of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, systematically denied since the British mandate, and the right of refugees and exiles in the diaspora to return.

This ground-breaking apartheid report is the product of four years of research and advocacy by the coalition of Palestinian human rights organisations. In this time, and from the efforts of this coalition, there has been growing acceptance of the reality that is Israel’s oppressive apartheid regime by the international community.

On its part, Amnesty International welcomed in a tweet the release of the report launched by a Palestinian coalition of human rights organisations on Israeli apartheid:

Despite the growing global recognition of Israeli apartheid, yet the Zionist settler colonialism and its eliminatory and population transfer logic remain absent from recent analyses and reports on apartheid by Israeli and international human rights organisations such as Yesh Din, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. It is this gap that the present report seeks to fill.

This report aims to expand on the current apartheid discourse, and push for the recognition of the colonial practices of Israel, both past and present, and its consistent use of settler colonial policies against the Palestinian people, recognizing the connection between the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and the wider, global movement of indigenous liberation against both colonialism and other associated forms of structural and institutionalized racism.

Among the many conclusions from this report, a key take away is how any description of the situation in Palestine as a ‘conflict’ ignores the reality of the situation. The asymmetric power dynamic, the prolonged indefinite occupation, the exploitive nature of this occupation, and the constant transfer and expulsion of population with complete disregard for international law shows that Israel’s policies are more than an apartheid regime, and amount to a colonial-settler policy in the 21st century, with the intention of uprooting and erasing the Palestinian people from their homeland.

The report stresses that there can be no solution to the situation as long as the international community continues to ignore Israel’s systematic human rights abuses and settler colonial apartheid regime and through it, sustain the illegal Zionist colonial settler project at the cost of Palestinian liberation. This report calls on the international community, the United Nations, states and communities worldwide to act against Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime through a series of recommendations, including:

– Third States to take steps towards completely decolonizing Palestine. This must involve the dismantlement of all structures of domination, exploitation, and oppression and the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination and to return to their homes, lands, and properties;

– Third States to recognize and condemn, including through regional and international organisations, Israel’s discriminatory laws, policies, and practices which have cumulatively established, and continue to maintain, an apartheid regime of systemic racial oppression and domination, over the Palestinian people as a whole;

– Cooperate to bring the unlawful situation created by Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime to an end by implementing economic sanctions nationally and multilaterally and by severing diplomatic, cultural, and trade ties with Israel as required by international law and suspend existing trade and cooperation agreements with Israel, including national and regional agreements;

– For Member States of the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution to reconstitute the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid to address Israeli authorities’ commission of the crime against humanity of apartheid against the Palestinian people as a whole, and empower these bodies to proactively pursue the dismantlement of Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime;

– That the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court expedite the current investigation into the Situation in Palestine without undue delay, including into war crimes and crimes against humanity, comprising, inter alia, the crimes of apartheid, population transfer, appropriation and destruction of property, pillage, persecution, willful killing, murder, and torture carried out on the Palestinian territory.