Human Rights Watch calls for sanctions against Israel over settlements

Activism
on 6 Comments

Human Rights Watch in this ground-breaking report, titled “Occupation, Inc.,” not only proves that doing business with or in Israel’s colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, amounts to complicity in violating international law and in entrenching Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and racism. It actually calls for sanctions!

Arguably the most far-reaching recommendation in the report is cutting aid to Israel by an amount equivalent to what Israel spends on settlements. This puts to shame the mediocre EU measures against settlements which magically punish the crime, not the criminal. 

Occupation, Inc. How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights -- Human Rights Watch

Occupation, Inc. How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights — Human Rights Watch

The ridiculous EU policy of “labeling” Israeli settlement products instead of banning them as illegal looks even more laughable in light of this HRW report. 

Doing away with EU hypocrisy and utter bias in dealing with Israel’s regime of oppression, HRW recognizes in this report that it is precisely Israel that is legally responsible for building, maintaining, servicing and growing the illegal colonies, so Israel should be held accountable for this crime. 

Though HRW does not endorse BDS or call for a boycott against Israel or companies profiting from its violations of international law, it actually calls for something quite radical: sanctions against Israel.

Human Rights Watch urges states to “avoid offsetting the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements by withholding funding given to the Israeli government in an amount equivalent to its expenditures on settlements and related infrastructure in the West Bank.”

Cutting aid to Israel by billions of dollars (the amount it spends on the occupation enterprise, including settlements) would be the most radical sanction yet if implemented.

That certainly sounds like sanctions–the “S” in BDS.

This particular HRW recommendation can only be commended as exceptionally courageous given the rise of repression and new McCarthyism in the US against Israel critics, let alone those calling for meaningful sanctions against it.

6 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    January 19, 2016, 12:58 pm

    It’s a great idea, the “S” in sanctions. The only flaw in HRW’s proposal — if it is a flaw at all — is that it proposes a mild punishment, cutting off offsetting current funding, whereas a stronger punishment is deserved and that for two reasons.

    The first reason is that Israel has been spending many billions of dollars in the settlements for many years, and the proposal merely seeks to offset current spending.

    The second reason is that if Israel were to cease entirely any and all spending on settlements, the occupation would continue, the illegal land seizures made over 48 years would not be reversed, and the HRW-suggested withholding of money would end.

    Still, it’s a good step as a suggestion. If any states other than the USA are giving Israel money, maybe they’ll stop doing so. The USA will not stop anytime soon, so the proposal is a bit of a nonstarter in practical terms.

    But it is only good as a first step, as a red flag. Cutting off all imports from the occupation would be another very good (if minor) step. Cutting off all trade, whether or not by stages, with Israel would be a very much more significant step. Israel itself is the criminal and Israel itself should be punished until (in terms of occupation, not in terms of BDS) the occupation REALLY ceases (not, for instance, as in the case of Gaza).

  2. David Doppler
    January 19, 2016, 1:11 pm

    Israel Likud have made very clear they will keep doing what they’re doing until real consequences force a re-assessment. Sanctions – government to government – might work. All the failed diplomacy, feigned solidarity, and tolerance have done nothing but make us complicit. Half measures just encourage Israel to strive in dozens of covert ways to escalate terrorism, to deflect criticism. Half measures, and Neocon aggressive measures, serve Israel’s purpose of making Arab and Muslim populations angry at the US.

  3. HarryLaw
    January 20, 2016, 5:09 am

    As confirmation of my comment above on the need for sanctions the Israeli opposition have just called the two state solution impossible, and that a barrier should be put in place to wall of Palestinians. “The main opposition leader in Israel, the head of the center-left Zionist Union Isaac Herzog, has today declared a two-state solution to be “impossible,” telling a high-profile security conference that the goal should be to build as big a wall as possible to wall off as many Palestinians as possible”. link to news.antiwar.com

  4. Ossinev
    January 20, 2016, 7:50 am

    “The main opposition leader in Israel, the head of the center-left Zionist Union Isaac Herzog, has today declared a two-state solution to be “impossible,” telling a high-profile security conference that the goal should be to build as big a wall as possible to wall off as many Palestinians as possible”

    Herzog`s plan Z is a fascinating insight into just how crazy these Zionists have become. It is as if he is talking about a very large herd of unruly beasts and not human beings needing to be rounded up and controlled – wait a minute this is definitely reminding me of something ! Yes I knew it – didn`t those nasty Nazi type people in Germany talk like this about the Jews and the Jewish problem back in the 30`s and 40`s ? Why yes they did.

    And this from the mouth of one of the supposedly “moderate” voices in the Israeli Jewish community.

    This little cult colony has really toppled over the edge.

  5. Talkback
    January 22, 2016, 10:06 am

    Where is HRW calling upon the international community for a military intervention in the occupied State of Palestine because of Israel’s nearly half century prolonged occupation and its continuous denial of the Palestinians right to self determination? It’s not even calling for a consumer boycott of settlement companies.

    Morally corrupt bastards.

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