UN report on Israel is the ‘most cutting recognition and condemnation of a legal system of segregation since apartheid South Africa’

Israel/Palestine
on 7 Comments

Ben White writing in the Independent:

This is Israel in 2012 according to a top UN body. Using unprecedented strong language, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) criticised Israeli policies in terms of “apartheid”, as part of their published observations following a regular review.

Affirming the kind of analysis that Israel’s advocates try to dismiss as lies or rhetorical excess, the Committee slammed Israel for violating the right to equality in numerous policy areas. CERD described “segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish communities”, a lack of “equal access to land and property”, and “the ongoing policy of home demolitions and forced displacement of the indigenous Bedouin communities” in the Negev.

The lack of a “prohibition of racial discrimination” in Israel’s Basic Law was highlighted, and more recent developments, such as the restrictions on family unification affecting Palestinian citizens were also part of CERD’s wide-ranging criticisms.

The Committee’s observations also covered Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories, showing how the same discriminatory patterns are found on both sides of the Green Line. Israeli settlements in the West Bank form part of a regime of “de facto segregation” severe enough to cause the Committee to remind Israel of the “prohibition” of policies of “apartheid”.

According to Dr David Keane, senior lecturer in law at Middlesex University and author of ‘Caste-based Discrimination in International Human Rights Law’, this is “the most cutting CERD recognition and condemnation of a legal system of segregation since apartheid South Africa”.

Here is the full report:

CERD.C.ISR.CO.14-16

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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7 Responses

  1. seafoid
    March 22, 2012, 10:17 am

    So the UN doesn’t buy Israel “terrorism” framing of the conflict. Quelle surprise.

    I had lunch with my Israeli colleague today. Outraged that “Ashton could n0t understand the difference between aggression and self defence.” Israel doesn’t kill Gazans deliberately. they just die by the way.

    UN doesn’t buy that either.

    • Koshiro
      March 23, 2012, 4:19 am

      The thing is that Ashton also mentioned the Belgian children who had recently died in a horrible bus accident. Quite clearly, she did not judge the circumstances of the deaths – because obviously there is a difference between an accident and a murder – but she was simply trying to evoke empathy for the terrible tragedy that a child’s death always is for the families.

      What you colleague is thus saying is that Gazan children’s deaths are not a tragedy, that they should not be mourned, that we should have no sympathy for them.
      I admire your restraint. I would have picked up my plates and moved to a different table. And that’s only because breaking his nose would have gotten me into trouble.

    • Erasmus
      March 23, 2012, 3:49 pm

      Re seafoid:

      ” I had lunch with my Israeli colleague today. ……” (rest-quote below)

      Voluntarily???
      You’d better be more selective either with your lunch-companions and/or the subjects you cover over lunch: eg. what about the weather or soccer…..
      Otherwise, you may end up with stomach ulcers….

      quote ctd.
      “….Outraged that “Ashton could n0t understand the difference between aggression and self defence.” Israel doesn’t kill Gazans deliberately. they just die by the way….”

  2. Dan Crowther
    March 22, 2012, 10:33 am

    Just parousing the document, you find the phrase “the committee reiterates…..” over and over – as in “Ok, we’ve been over this before many times, lets see if we cant make this as clear as can be”

    The report also calls the fact (section C, 23) that although there has been a increase in racism and xenophobia of all kinds, including on the part of israeli officials – there is no data about what the government (municipal or otherwise) has done about it. And the Commission is “preoccupied” with this fact.

    This is scathing from the little of it I’ve read.

  3. Kathleen
    March 22, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Will read report. Last time Israel ever listened to what the UN had to say was when the UN recognized Israel as a state.

    This past Monday March 19th MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow aired a one hour program focused on Mexico choosing to be relieved of all weapons grade nuclear material. A great show in many ways. But within five minutes (4:07 in the first segment) of the program Rachel and her team put up a map of all countries known to have nuclear weapons. The US, UK, Russia, China, France (all signatories of the Non Proli…(tharr be more)feration Treaty) As well as Israel, Pakistan, India and North Koria (all non signatories of the NPT) What Rachel and her team chose to do next is inexcusable, irresponsible and very dangerous. They put Iran up on that map which says in the caption above the map “Countries with Nuclear Weapons” Rachel states “Let’s also add an outline around Iran because even though Iran says they neither have them or want them. There are international concerns that Iran is not only working on having nuclear weapons. But they may be close to that.” This is not only false but terribly irresponsible on Rachel Maddows part. While the international community does have concerns about what may be but has not been proven to be a plan for a nuclear weapons plan Iran is no where near having nuclear weapons. Rachel Maddow should be hammered (please contact her program) for being so irresponsible and repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran and posting them on her yellow map of “Countries with nuclear weapons” This is one more example of how our MSM has been repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran starting very soon after the invasion of Iraq. First Segment March 19th ” Mexico relieved of all weapons useable nuclear material” At 4:07)
    Hope folks go watch the Maddow show on March 19th especially that first segment
    Search Options

    Maddow Showwww.msnbc.msn.com/id/…/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/

  4. hughsansom
    March 22, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Unfortunately, you have to “login” at docstoc, which means they are sharing or selling info. Here’s another link straight to the PDF:
    http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/CERD.C.ISR.CO.14-16.pdf

  5. justicewillprevail
    March 22, 2012, 5:26 pm

    And on top of that, an EU report details the systematic terrorism of the settlers and Israel’s tacit encouragement and acceptance of it:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/21/israel-settlers-violence-palestinians-europe?INTCMP=SRCH

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