Continuum of Apartheid in Israeli Legislation
The Follow-up Committee raised the dangers of the Nation-State Law at the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva on 21 September 2018
GENEVA—A delegation from the Higher Follow-up Committee of the Arab community in the country recently participated in a central international symposium at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The seminar focused on the Jewish Nation-State Law and its dangers to Palestinian national rights across both sides of the Green Line, in the presence of dozens of Arab and foreign ambassadors in Geneva.
The symposium was hosted by the Permanent Representation of the State of Palestine at the United Nations Human Rights Council and attended by a large number of diplomats and representatives of international institutions, both governmental and non-governmental.
The seminar culminated in an intensive visit, which included qualitative meetings with leaders of international and Swiss institutions, which lasted three days. The follow-up delegation was composed by its chairman, Mohamed Barakeh, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
And the jurist Sawsan Zaher of Adalah, who is in charge of advocacy and the judicial administration for the Follow-up Committee, the Joint Committee of Arab Heads of Local Authorities against the National Law, and jurist Omar Khamaisi of the al-Mizan Association, which conducts local and international advocacy in the cases of the Arab public.
The seminar was co-sponsored by the Coordinator of the Housing and Land Rights Network of the Habitat International Coalition, Joseph Schechla.
The seminar was opened and moderated by Ibrahim Khreisha, the Ambassador of Palestine in Switzerland and at the United Nations Organizations at Geneva.
He spoke about the dangers faced by the people to their established rights, especially the “deal of the century” and the transfer of the [U.S.] American embassy and attempts to write off the refugee issue, leading up to the dangers of the National Law passed by the Knesset.
In his speech, Barakeh called upon states to shoulder their responsibilities toward international legitimacy and the rights of the people, since the issue of racism and apartheid is not an internal issue in where Israel singles out its citizens and the Palestinian people.
He also reviewed the implications of the Nation-State Law, which completely negates the existence of any non-Jewish national or civil entity over all of historic Palestine, thus negating any solution that includes the right of self-determination of the people and negates any definition of non-Jewish citizenship and any possibility of equal citizenship in historic Palestine. Thus, Israeli apartheid is fully in practice and constitutional.
The Head of Follow-up Committee referred to the decision issued by all the components of the Follow-up Committee and all the factions in the Palestinian arena to declare a general strike for all the people in all places where it is located, on 1 October in response to the Nation-State Law.
The academic, Joseph Schechla, spoke of the continuum of prominent phases in the history of colonization from the nineteenth century until today.
MK Jabareen said that the national law reflects the extreme political program of the right in Israel and starts apartheid, referring to the discriminatory clauses in the law and the denial of the people`s right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
He explained that the law affects the status of the Arabic language and encourages settlement and perpetuates discrimination against Arab citizens in key areas of life, such as immigration, symbols of the state, holidays and others.
Jabareen stressed that the Nation-State Law dates back to segregation in the United States and apartheid in South Africa, and the world must raise its voice against this legislation, because it contradicts the foundations of international law.
Attorney Zahar presented a human rights intervention in which the constitutional dimensions of the exclusive [Jewish] right of self-determination determine the status of the Palestinians and their citizenship, and the dimensions of the lack of addressing the citizenship of the Palestinians in the new Zionist constitution in exchange for the ethnic superiority of its Jewish citizens.
For his part, the lawyer Khamaisi addressed the gravity of the law in applying its concepts in Israeli courts. It lacks any reference such as equality and democracy and, thus, gives the judiciary wide discretion to interpret the law in favor of Jews simply because they are distinct from non-Jews.
During the debate, the Ambassador of South Africa to United Nations said that the Nation-State Law was an apartheid law with all the racism, discrimination and racist supremacy that the word carries.
South Africa would continue to support the cause and the struggle of the Palestinians to realize their legitimate rights.
The Ambassador of Lebanon spoke with special intimacy about the interventions of the members of the delegation, calling on the Embassy of Palestine to persevere in organizing such symposia.
The Follow-up Committee`s interventions and proposals were supported by participants who emphasized the importance of garnering international support for the [indigenous] people`s struggle in Israel for full equality, recognition of their national rights and support for the Palestinians’ struggle to establish their independent state.
Original article (in Arabic)
Photo on front page: The panel participants from left to right: Joseph Schechla, Mohamed Barakeh, Amb. Ibrahim Khraishi, Youssef Jabareen, Sawsan Zaher and Omar Khamaisi. Photo on this page: Participants at the event in general discussion. Source: Maan.