A Palestinian View from under Apartheid Landmark Palestinian Coalition Report: Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism
On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November 2022, Al-Haq launched its inaugural coalition report titled: Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism. It reflects the collaborative efforts of civil society and academic authors Rania Muhareb, Elizabeth Rghebi, Pearce Clancy, Joseph
Schechla, Nada Awad, and Maha Abdallah.
Endorsing the publication is a coalition of leading Palestinian civil society organisations, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan), Al-Quds University ‘Community Action Center’ (CAC), the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH).
Importantly, the report is the first major Palestinian publication to expand the current international discourse on apartheid. Importantly, it examines apartheid as a structural element of Zionist settler colonialism on both sides of the Green Line and against the Indigenous Palestinian People as a whole. Further, the report illustrates the additional need to end Israel’s settler colonialism consistent with the requirements of international rule-based order, and toward the fulfilment of the Palestinians’ inalienable right to self-determination.
The new report adds clear Palestinian voices and analysis to the wider international calls, demanding an end to Israel’s apartheid regime. It elaborates the Palestinian civil society demand for 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 full reparations, including return.
This ground-breaking apartheid report is the product of four years of research and advocacy by the coalition of Palestinian human rights organisations, and answers questions left by other organizations arriving at the same conclusion.. In this time, and from the efforts of this coalition of authors and endorsing organizations, international consensus is growing about the reality that is Israel’s oppressive apartheid regime. While Al-Haq and the wider human rights community are encouraged by this emerging global recognition, they note that Zionist settler colonialism and its eliminatory and population-transfer logic remain understated or 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.
Notably, this report aims to expand and reveal the roots of the current apartheid paradigm, including the manipulation of discredited race theory at its ideological foundation. It calls 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 Peoples’ liberation against both colonialism and other associated forms of structural and institutionalised racism.
It is within this frame of both historic and ongoing violations that this new study analyses apartheid as a tool for the wider Zionist settler colonial project, rather than in isolation from contextual processes and facts. The contents of the report focus on the institutionalization of material discrimination through Israel’s racist regime, including its formational history, before and during the start of the Nakba in 1948; the legal basis of maintaining apartheid in Israel’s constitutional Basic Laws, other legislation and military orders; and the importance of delivering the long-promised self-determination of the Palestinian people.
Among the many conclusions from this report, a key take-away is how any description of the situation in Palestine as a mere ‘conflict’ ignores the reality of the situation. The lopsided power dynamic, the aggression of the colonial regime, the prolonged indefinite occupation, the exploitive nature of systematic dispossession, and the constant transfer and expulsion of population with complete disregard for established international criminal law show 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 further uprooting and erasing the Palestinian people from their homeland.
The authors stress that no solution to the situation is possible as long as the international community continues to condone Zionist Israel’s systematic human rights abuses and settler colonial apartheid regime and, through it, sustain the illegal situation at the cost of Palestinian liberation. This report calls on the international community, the United Nations, states and communities worldwide to act in lawful opposition against Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime through a series of practical recommendations for states to uphold their extraterritorial obligations under human rights and peremptory norms on international law, including international cooperation, to bring the unlawful situation to an end.
The conclusions and recommendations also call upon the UN General Assembly to reconstitute the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid, and for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to expedite the current investigation into the Situation in Palestine, including the war crimes and crimes against humanity, comprising, inter alia, the crimes of apartheid, population transfer, acquisition of territory by force, appropriation and destruction of property, pillage, persecution, wilful killing, murder, and torture carried out on the Palestinian territory.
Download Israeli Apartheid: A Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism
* See Al-Haq’s Information Sheet.
* See the Visualizing Palestine infograph “Divide and Dominate”