UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis

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A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report that found the country guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people. 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid.” ESCWA is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.  

The findings of the report are non-binding and reflect contributions from professor of political science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Virginia Tilley and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk. It concluded UN organs should sanction Israel and coordinate with civil society groups in boycott campaigns. Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as:

“[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

While neither Jews or Palestinians are racial groups, the report stated, the apartheid standard was met because ESCWA found a “racial character” to the policies of the Israeli government enacted toward both Jews and Palestinians. This is expressed inside of Israel through separate categories for a citizen’s “nationality” (Jewish or Arab) and in the occupied territories by the absence of citizenship for Palestinians. 

Israel was said to have divided Palestinians into different spheres of governance, each with fewer rights than Jewish-Israelis. Sub-sections of the report outline Palestinians citizens of Israel, West Bank and Gaza residents, Jerusalem residents, and external refugees, all of whom have unequal rights in comparison to Jewish-Israeli citizens.

“Strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime,” ESCWA said. Individual treatment to each group may not meet the apartheid definition, when taken together the report said, it does.

The UN body regarded Israel as producing “one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring dominion over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category.”

Apartheid inside of Israel

Palestinian citizens of Israel total 1.7 million, and while they have voting rights, the report found several quasi-governmental agencies carried out “demographic engineering” in the name of the state to privilege Jewish citizens over Palestinians. Chiefly, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization were both described as exclusively resettling Jewish immigrants and using state land for Jewish-only housing, while at the same time Israel denied the return of Palestinian refugees, and on a smaller scale, denied citizenships to spouses of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian heritage.

The report further found Palestinians have no legal tools for dismantling the racialized hierarchies enshrined to those agencies, due to a 1958 law (functionally part of Israel’s constitution) that calls for a “Jewish character” of the country.

“Palestinian parties can campaign only for minor reforms and better municipal budgets. They are legally prohibited from challenging the racial regime itself,” the report said.

‘Full apartheid’ already in West Bank

While Palestinians citizens of Israel were noted to hold the same political rights as their Jewish-counterparts, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to harsh Israeli military code and hold no political rights in Israel.

Because some 300,000 Israeli settlers also live inside of the West Bank and are governed by separate rules than Palestinians the UN group said: “the dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime.”

“The territory is administered in a manner that fully meets the definition of apartheid under the Apartheid Convention: except for the provision on genocide, every illustrative ‘inhuman act’ listed in the Convention is routinely and systematically practiced by Israel in the West Bank.”

The issue of how the areas under the full security and civil control of the Palestinian Authority fit into the picture was also raised. These urban enclaves in the West Bank were likened to “Bantustans” in South Africa during the apartheid-era and regarded as further evidence of the definition of apartheid.

Bantustans, defined as “separate reserves and ghettoes for the members of the racial groups or groups,” are strictly banned under international law, said the study. Virginia Tilley, the author of this section of the report, added to Mondoweiss that the late Ariel Sharon, who is credited for the idea of Palestinian self-government zones, “closely examined the functioning of the Bantustans in South Africa during his multiple trips there. I think no reasonable doubt can be sustained that this design for a permanently non-sovereign Palestinian ‘state’ was the true aim and so the set-up was intentional and by design and not merely effect.”

Regarding Palestinians who hold Jerusalem resident permits, Israel was charged with “discrimination in access to education, health care, employment, residency and building rights. They also suffer from expulsions and home demolitions, which serve the Israeli policy of ‘demographic balance’ in favour of Jewish residents.”

The report made a specific reference to a 1996 “center of life” law, which it said was a legal mechanism to expel 11,000 Palestinians from the city between the time the law passed and 2014, because their “center of life” was deemed not to be Jerusalem. 

ESCWA claimed Israel first began implementing apartheid abuses during its early years of statehood when 800,000 Palestinians were made refugees during the 1947-49 war. Israel then prevented their return, while at the same time passing legislation to allow any person of Jewish heritage to become a citizen.

The report comes just days after the latest warning bell was sounded by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who told the Jerusalem Post Israel would embark on an “apartheid system” if it did not reach a peace deal soon with the Palestinians. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had been arguing a similar point for several years about the waning time before Israel becomes an “apartheid” regime; although his successor Rex Tillerson stated in his Senate confirmation hearing that the Israelis and Palestinians have time to make a deal (“Sometimes you just need to skip a generation to get rid of all the baggage of the past,” he said).

The reigning view in the U.S. and Europe is that if Israel were to annex the occupied Palestinians territory and take full control, unbridled apartheid would flourish. But the UN report jumps the timeline world leaders have used, and says so explicitly at the top of the dossier: ESCWA reviewed the situation between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as a whole, as if it were all, already, a single state.

Israel has fiercely rejected the apartheid charge, in this report and previously, although it seemingly did not take this report as a seriously as others.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon directed Mondoweiss to his Twitter feed: “#UN #ESCWA has issued today a ” Der Stürmer”like report, NOT endorsed by @UNSG . Friendly advice- dont read it without anti nausea pills….,” he said today, referencing the Nazi propaganda outlet, Der Stürmer.

In 2010 Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs more clearly outlined its position on why it is not an apartheid state:

While the status of Arab-Israelis in Israel is still open to much improvement, a great deal has already been accomplished towards reaching the goal of absolute equality. Unlike under apartheid, Arab Israelis can vote, live where they want, receive excellent medical care and practice whatever profession they choose. One only has to look at the rise of Arab-Israelis in the public sphere to realize the advances Arab Israelis have made: they can be found on the Supreme Court, in the Knesset (parliament), in ambassadorial positions, as senior officers in the police and army, as mayors, as deputy-speakers of the Knesset and even as government ministers and deputy ministers. Prominent Arab Israelis can be found in almost every sphere of Israeli life, including in the medical fields, media and playing on Israel’s national soccer team.

One of the ideals on which Israel was founded was that of equality. Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that the State of Israel ‘will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.’”

Some human rights groups have shied away from labeling Israel as practicing “apartheid” when describing mistreatment of Palestinians. Although that is more or less the contention of a 2010 report by Human Rights Watch, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The human rights group only looked at areas Israel occupies and did not address Palestinian citizens of Israel. 

Adalah, the leading human rights group that advocates on behalf of Palestinian citizens of Israel also has yet to use the word “apartheid” to formally describe their situation. But on its website, the group says Palestinians are “unequal” to Jewish-Israelis and lists 50 “Discriminatory Laws in Israel” that codify separate treatment between Jewish and Arab citizens, ranging from regulations about income tax to land-use codes. 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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67 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    March 15, 2017, 5:52 pm

    Thanks Alison. And many. many thanks to the authors Tilley and Falk.

    I had been a bit queasy about asserting the “apartheid” allegation against Israel-inside-Israel48, but the report makes clear the discriminatory denial of equal rights to the exiles/refugees (who by the international standards of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    have a right to return to Israel48 from which they were displaced or to which they were refused readmittance by Israel). And the wonderfully discriminatory anti-universalism of the law of return (Jews only) and of the nationality law by which some Israeli passports identify the holder as Arab and others identify the holders as Jewish — serve as milestones, terminal milestones, on the road to apartheid along which Israel, jackboots stamping all the way, has marched deliberately and with headstrong arrogance.

    • oldgeezer
      March 15, 2017, 8:17 pm

      @pabelmont

      I have never felt queasy about it. If it looks like a duck etc.

      You take the reality of the status over there and combine it the peonouncements of their leaders and it is the only point you can arrive at.

      By design zionism is racism. The anecdotal exceptions do not change that fact. With a right wing gov zionism is racism on steroids and a danger to the world.

  2. talknic
    March 15, 2017, 6:36 pm

    ” Arab Israelis can … live where they want”

    Any in the illegal settlements in non-Israeli territories held under occupation since 1967?

    • Abe Hayeem
      March 16, 2017, 1:43 pm

      It is not true. Palestinians cannot purchase property or build in the 93% of Israel – land that was requisitioned by the Israeli State after 1948. So in effect they cannot live where they want. They cannot live in any of the kibbutzim built on land stolen from destroyed Palestinian villages and even in the ‘mixed cities’ like Haifa the Palestinian population is kept at 30%. Tel Aviv has a Palestinian population of 4%, and permission is always denied for them building even within Arab neighbourhoods like Ajami -land given either to religious settlers or for luxury Jewish only housing. In East Jerusalem, planning policy is racist, since the state plans to reduce an Arab majority population of 58% to 30% by ensuring the transfer out of Palestinians from Arab neighbourhoods surrounding Jerusalem. Within Israel, new housing communities are given the right, in every case to refuse admission to whomever they feel ‘undesirable’, in effect, ‘keep Palestinians out’.

      Palestinians are almost never given permission to build or extend their homes in the mixed cities, and thousands of homes, even within Israel, are scheduled for demolition, due to not being given permission, of for ‘Judaisation policies. In the Negev,Bedouin villages are being demolished to be replaced by Jewish-only settlements built over them. Most Israelis, in polls taken, would not like to have Arabs for neighbours etc etc

      For more, see Ben White’s book, ‘Israel Apartheid’.

  3. oldgeezer
    March 15, 2017, 8:14 pm

    I have always thought nazi analogies were inappropriate. That said I have become more open to the thought of using them the more that zionists and the GoI use them. Apparently it’s not cheapening the memory or significance that bothers them as.much as trying to undeservedly reserve it’s use as an attack for their own criminal enterprise.

  4. oldgeezer
    March 15, 2017, 10:22 pm

    As of 10:00pm March 15th the msm is going nuts with Israel’s and it’s pet US reaction to this report and no detailed laying out of the reports findings.

    Zionism in and of itself may not be complete racism. Zionism as it has been implemented and enforced is not merely racism but evil and a crime. That includes liberal zionists who only offer well meaning sound bites while furthering it’s agenda which is evil and criminal. Yes zionism is as evil as the other evils in human history. There is no free pass for we didn’t murder 6 million people we only oppressed 2 to 7 million people.

    You either have a spark of humanity in you and accept the equality of all people or you are a total racist. You should ve proud to be recognized as such.

    BDS. Let Israelis simmer in their own stew. A better app, stint, or generic copycat drug is not a free pass to standing on the heads of other people. They do try to argue that though. Which is further evidence of their lack of conscience and humanity.

    • Boomer
      March 16, 2017, 4:11 pm

      re: “As of 10:00pm March 15th the msm is going nuts with Israel’s and it’s pet US reaction to this report and no detailed laying out of the reports findings.”

      As of mid-afternoon on March 16th, a quick search of Google News suggests that is still mostly true, but there are a few exceptions or partial exceptions. WaPo, for example, has a fairly straightforward story about it, which lays out the case as well as citing the critics. And there’s a link to the report. It’s good to see that much, at least, enter public discourse in the MSM.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/03/16/is-israel-an-apartheid-state-this-u-n-report-says-yes/

      • amigo
        March 16, 2017, 6:32 pm

        Boomer , thank for that WAPO report.

        I note that those jumping to Israel,s defence deride the report because the UN bosses did not approve it. The UN approved UNSCR 2334 but Israel ignored that and is still building.Typical Israel, they love to cherry pick UN decisions.

  5. Juan R.
    March 15, 2017, 11:12 pm

    There is absolutely nothing equivalent to Apartheid in the dispute that rages between the Palestinians and Israel today. Within Israel itself, Arabs and Jews share the same shopping malls, benches, hospitals, theatres and, in many cases, suburbs. The educational institutions do not have a deliberately “dumbed down” Arab curriculum and the privilege of voting is given to all. The Israeli Knesset has Arab members of parliament, and Jews, Arabs and Palestinians often work together at construction sites, businesses, hotels and elsewhere. Most important of all is the fact that Israel is a democratic state. Though not a perfect one, it does have democratic institutions and it is definitely not governed by a totalitarian minority!

    It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth! Most of these people have no knowledge of the “inner workings” of the Apartheid regime and couldn’t even tell you the basic facts about it. It is just a very powerful weapon to use when discharging their hatred of Israel.

    • eljay
      March 16, 2017, 8:45 am

      || Juan R.: There is absolutely nothing equivalent to Apartheid in the dispute that rages between the Palestinians and Israel today. … ||

      Yeah, it’s more of a dispute between:
      – religion-based supremacism and colonialism (Zionism, Zionists and the “Jewish State”); and
      – its victims (Palestine’s indigenous population).

      || … It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth! … ||

      You bet! It’s amazing how many Jews – and non-Jews – believe that the religion-based identity of Jewish comprises a right to a “Jewish State”.

    • Talkback
      March 16, 2017, 9:17 am

      Juan R. obviously doesn’t (want to) know anything about the Crime of Apartheid as defined by international law and repeats the Hasbara nonsense that if Israel doesn’t show the same signs of South African’s so called “petty Apartheid” than it can’t be Apartheid at all.

      But even keeping Nonjews expelled to maintain a “Jewish democracy” amounts to the crime of Apartheid as defined by the ICC.

    • Marnie
      March 16, 2017, 9:57 am

      Wow that was a whopper Mr. R! The truth is a very powerful weapon, period.

    • amigo
      March 16, 2017, 12:50 pm

      ” Within Israel itself,” Juan R.

      Care to put borders around that.

      • eljay
        March 16, 2017, 1:33 pm

        || amigo: … Care to put borders around that. ||

        – Greater Israel!
        – Land of Israel!
        – Judea and Samaria!
        Borders? We don’t need no stinking borders!

      • amigo
        March 16, 2017, 3:04 pm

        ” Greater Israel! ” eljay

        Can we take it , from Juan R ,s post that he is not a Greater Israel fan.He could hardly make the case , he did (with a straight face) and be a supporter of GI .He is wrong in either case as Israel has laws , “within Israel itself “, that prevent political entities from running on a platform that seeks to end the laws that Israel uses to keep Jews in a majority in a so called ” Democratic and Jewish State “.

        Personally , I doubt Juan R has the slightest idea of what he is rattling on about.

      • talknic
        March 16, 2017, 4:12 pm

        They’re so funny.

        “Israel was invaded by five Arab States!”

        “The Arab Regional Powers had a right to attempt to expel forces of the Jewish State from territories outside the borders of the State of Israel “

        “Israel didn’t declare any borders!”

        “Thought you said Israel was invaded?”

        “Yes. It was!”

        “How do you know if it didn’t have any borders?”

        Oh ah … Cherry tomatoes … er … Mark Twain, … uhm … mobile phones … Anti-semite!”

    • talknic
      March 16, 2017, 3:46 pm

      @ Juan R. March 15, 2017, 11:12 pm

      “Within Israel itself, Arabs and Jews share the…”

      Uh? The 500,000 Jews from the Arab States weren’t Arab? http://wp.me/pDB7k-19Y

      “It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth!”

      Indeed. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

      BTW http://www.washingtonreport.me/1998-january-february/other-voices-israeli-discrimination-against-non-jews-is-carefully-codified-in-state-of-israel-s-laws.html

    • CigarGod
      March 17, 2017, 10:34 am

      Juan,
      Your response is “…shopping…”?
      Could you link a nice youtube song about Arab Valley Girls to help illustrate your point?

  6. HarryLaw
    March 16, 2017, 7:08 am

    This could be a very useful report, however is the number of of Palestinians claimed in the West Bank correct? The report reads “Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 6.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory, 4.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip”.
    Then 2 newspaper articles.. 1/ “The Civil Administration relies heavily on data from the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, which as of April 2016 has 2.9 million Palestinians listed as living in all of the West Bank, not including east Jerusalem”, http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/How-many-Palestinians-live-in-the-West-Bank-Dont-ask-the-IDF-456213. 2/ “The bulk of those Palestinians live in Areas A and B of the West Bank, which is under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority. The number of Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is expected to rise to equal the number of Jews in the same area by the end of 2017, at 6.58 million, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics claimed in figures it released on Thursday”. http://www.timesofisrael.com/6-58-million-each-palestinians-claim-theyll-be-as-numerous-as-jews-in-historical-palestine-next-year/ Of course Apartheid can occur independent of numbers involved, in this instance even with the 300,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem added to that WB number, the figures seem out.

  7. HarryLaw
    March 16, 2017, 7:45 am

    Will they won’t they? …. “US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it [the report] should be scrapped altogether.
    UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

    “The United States is outraged by the report,” said Haley in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-demands-un-pull-report-accusing-israel-of-apartheid/

  8. eljay
    March 16, 2017, 8:32 am

    … In 2010 Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs more clearly outlined its position on why it is not an apartheid state:

    While the status of Arab-Israelis in Israel is still open to much improvement, a great deal has already been accomplished towards reaching the goal of absolute equality. … One of the ideals on which Israel was founded was that of equality. … “

    It’s nice to see Zionists striving to outdo the ideals on which Israel was founded (“absolute equality” vs. mere “equality”), but the end game is the same: An Israel that…
    – remains forever a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews; and
    – never becomes a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

  9. HarryLaw
    March 16, 2017, 9:22 am

    Two tricks Israelis use to bamboozle the International community “The legal system of the State of Israel can be described as a weird mixture of advanced democracy and retrogressive discrimination, combined with clumsy attempts to hide the discriminatory reality. For example, in all Israeli laws except one, the Law of Return, the word “Jew” does not appear. The term employed when the law gives discriminatory privileges to Jews is that those privileges are granted to “persons who would have benefited from the Law of Return had they been outside the borders of Israel.” The Law of Return specifies that its benefits can be given only to Jews. However, Israeli propagandists calculate, correctly in my view, that a great majority of the opponents of discrimination would not dare to criticize this law.

    The second trick, especially beloved by the Meretz Party and other “leftist” hypocrites, is to campaign for and then pass a high-sounding law in favor of equality or human rights. Such laws, however, always contain one little paragraph stating that their provisions will not affect any laws or regulations enacted in the past. The high-sounding preambles of the new laws then can be solemnly quoted without mentioning that since discriminatory laws and rules were passed in the 1950s and early 1960s (by Labor, of course), the new laws cannot change the existing discrimination. When one understands those two tricks, one comprehends that Israeli laws, and even more so government regulations on all possible subjects, are full of discriminatory measures which, if employed against Jews anywhere else in the world, would be regarded as anti-Semitic”. http://www.washingtonreport.me/1998-january-february/other-voices-israeli-discrimination-against-non-jews-is-carefully-codified-in-state-of-israel-s-laws.html

  10. Talkback
    March 16, 2017, 9:42 am

    Meanwhile Reuters lables suicide bombers not as terrorists, but as hardline rebels fighting against tyrannical rule:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-damascus-idUSKBN16J0QM

  11. Ossinev
    March 16, 2017, 11:17 am

    @Juan R
    “It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth!”

    You have been listening to Norman Finklestein then.

    Usual Hasbara crap = ” Israel is a democratic state though not a perfect one”. As if there are other “Western” standard democratic states just like cute lovable little Israel that also have a whole list of discriminatory laws:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/database-discriminatory-israel/

    I live in a truly democratic state – by comparison your state is nothing more or less than a little wannabe Fascist cult colony the majority of whose “citizens” would dearly love to remove all of the the rights which their fellow Arab citizens have and expel them all but are unable to do so for fear of losing the “eternal victim” status and the sugar daddy embrace of Mother America.

  12. Egbert
    March 16, 2017, 1:29 pm

    Israel responds by passing a law in the dead of night that bans Palestinian Parties unless they accept that Israel is a Jewish State.

    https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2017/03/16/knesset-votes-ban-palestinian-parties-destroy-israeli-democracy/

    “Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset voted to ban Israeli Palestinian political parties from participating in future elections. It accomplished this evisceration of Israeli democracy in the dead of night with only 29 members voting in favor (20 brave souls voted against, the rest were apparently asleep at the switch). The means used was quite ingenious: the Basic Law was amended to read that no MK could sit in Knesset unless he or she affirmed that Israel was both a “Jewish and democratic state.” Jewish MKs have no trouble affirming both of these claims. But Palestinian MKs believe that Israel is not democratic and that it shouldn’t be Jewish (alone).”

    • eljay
      March 16, 2017, 1:55 pm

      || Egbert: Israel responds by passing a law in the dead of night that bans Palestinian Parties unless they accept that Israel is a Jewish State. … ||

      Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity. “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct. No-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept any state as any type of supremacist construct.

      Zionists just can’t get enough of that supremacist Kool-Aid they’ve been chugging for decades.

    • Boomer
      March 17, 2017, 3:20 pm

      re: “Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset voted to ban Israeli Palestinian political parties from participating in future elections.”

      Thanks for the link.

  13. James Canning
    March 16, 2017, 1:50 pm

    The Israeli occupation of the West Bank has succeeded in driving most of the Christian Palestinians out of the country. Many Israeli Jews would like to see the Muslims depart also.

  14. catalan
    March 16, 2017, 2:19 pm

    “are full of discriminatory measures which, if employed against Jews anywhere else in the world, would be regarded as anti-Semitic” Harry

    Do you include Iran, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world in this generalization? Can a Jewish person become the foreign minister of Iran? Can a Saudi become Jewish?

    As for the West, who cares? Jews were exterminated from most of Europe, so the few Jews left there have some supposed rights (plenty of unwritten discrimination in Eastern Europe). If that’s “good”, then if Israel simply exterminated all Palestinians and then gave the remaining 3 thousand “rights” everything will be OK?

    • Annie Robbins
      March 16, 2017, 4:17 pm

      Jews left there [Europe] have some supposed rights (plenty of unwritten discrimination in Eastern Europe)

      what “supposed” rights are you referencing? like they supposedly have some freedom of speech? and when you say “unwritten discrimination in Eastern Europe” do you mean by the governments, or by individuals?

      • RoHa
        March 16, 2017, 5:30 pm

        A few rights. Jews who behave themselves are allowed to have leading positions in business, arts, academia, medicine, law, and so forth. A few are permitted to become leaders of major political parties. Prime Minister or President, if they are very good, and eat all their vegetables.

    • catalan
      March 16, 2017, 5:24 pm

      I guess I mean that on paper Jews have rights (although most of these places have an “official religion”. ) In practice, both governments and individuals discriminate against minorities. In all honesty, after Babiy Yar, it is not clear to me how any Jew can even live in the Ukraine.
      Language itself is slanted against Jews. Like in Bulgaria, Jews are supposed to be “grateful” that we weren’t killed during the war but rather sent to labor camps. Really? That’s like Blacks here being grateful for not being slaves. I don’t feel like I need to be grateful to anyone except the person who is good to me. I don’t owe a debt for being treated like every other human being.
      The whole discussion is moot because for all practical purposes Jews are gone or disappearing from Eastern Europe. Probably from Western too.

      • talknic
        March 16, 2017, 8:34 pm

        @ catalan March 16, 2017, 5:24 pm

        ” In practice, both governments and individuals discriminate against minorities”

        Name a society where minorities have not or are not discriminated against.

        “In all honesty, after Babiy Yar, it is not clear to me how any Jew can even live in the Ukraine.”

        It’s their actual homeland maybe has something to do with it. Same it seems for Iranian Jews in the 21st century

        “Language itself is slanted against Jews. Like in Bulgaria, Jews are supposed to be “grateful” that we weren’t killed during the war but rather sent to labor camps. Really? That’s like Blacks here being grateful for not being slaves. “

        Or like Palestinians who having no form of gainful employment while under Israeli occupation should be grateful for having to resort to involvement in building illegal settlements for Jews only.

        “The whole discussion is moot because for all practical purposes Jews are gone or disappearing from Eastern Europe. Probably from Western too.”

        Strange, only about half the world’s Jewish population are in Israel, .where have they gone to? Greater ZioLand in SkyPixieRealtor world?

      • catalan
        March 16, 2017, 10:22 pm

        Strange, only about half the world’s Jewish population are in Israel, .where have they gone to? – talknic
        Roughly half is in Israel, the other half in the United States. About 5 percent everywhere else. I suspect Western Europe is slightly more tolerable than the eastern part but overall the trend is clear. I do love the United States while at the same time believing that patritotism is a refuge of the scoundrel.
        As for me defending Israel, why in the world would I do that? They have their billionaires and army, how stupid would be for me to defend a powerful country? Perhaps Gal Gadot’s rich husband should defend it, he has got a lot more vested. What I do defend is myself and the few people I love.
        As for legality, I leave this matter to experts like you. I took International law back in the day but was very distracted because of a girl in my class. So I don’t know what is legal and what is illegal.

      • Mooser
        March 17, 2017, 11:30 am

        “As for me defending Israel, why in the world would I do that?”

        Shorter “catalan” ‘I’ve been wasting your time all along. Aren’t I clever?’

        And then “catalan” goes all Cheshire Cat on us. Everything fades away except a sickly smile. And then he’s gone.

    • Kaisa of Finland
      March 16, 2017, 5:44 pm

      catalan: “plenty of unwritten discrimination in Eastern Europe”..

      Buhuu.. In the Eastern Europe there is fully open discrimination of gaypeople, women, Gypsies and all the refugees coming from anywhere else in the world. Non of those groups are insisting to have a land of their own where then to start discriminating and bullying the original population of the area.. Plenty of the East European Gypsies were eliminated in those same consentration camps the jews were. Why do they not have a right to immigrate to the land of Israel too.. ?? They are still without a land of their own..

    • amigo
      March 16, 2017, 6:02 pm

      catalan , wise up

      “You’ve got to envy the Jews, the most privileged minority in the free world. The Arabs in Europe, the Muslims in America, the blacks and Native Americans, the Gypsies, the aborigines, Arab Israelis, and of course, the Palestinians in the territories – all these groups can only dream of enjoying the kind of rights and standing enjoyed by the Jewish minority in the world. Or to put it in stronger terms: No Jew in the world is as oppressed as is the Arab citizen in Israel. And nowhere else will you find a minority that is the target of as much incitement by its country’s leaders as is the Arab minority in Israel.

      The Jewish minority is established and organized, its rights are safeguarded, and it has a nation-state to immigrate to. And which minority makes the most noise? Which ones causes a huge fuss over every attack on it? And to whom do the world’s statesmen make a pilgrimage after every attack? There is anti-Semitism in the world, and it is on the rise. But the outcry it causes is out of all proportion to the reality. Especially when you compare the lives of Jews to the lives of other minorities, in particular, Muslims.

      There is no country in the world where a senior minister would have the nerve to say that the Jews belong in another country. But that is exactly what Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a former immigrant himself, is saying about the Arab citizens of his country. The world isn’t stirred up by this, though – Lieberman didn’t attack Jews. Not the way the headlines screamed after “The Holocaust is Fake News” was scrawled on the wall of a synagogue in Seattle. Much more racist and violent graffiti can be found along the roads of the West Bank and Israel, but there is no protest, and no erasure.”

      Read more at !!

      read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.777546

      • rosross
        March 17, 2017, 2:38 am

        Whether Canadian Aborigines or Australian Aborigines you will find they are very diverse groups, not one people, not a pure race – some Nova Scotia Aborigines are more Scottish than Inuit for example – and they are all equal citizens with greater rights, so not really equal, but privileged in terms of benefits and rights.

        Jews are a religion and have no entitlement to land rights anyway. But Australian Aborigines, various groupings, have rights to some 40% of the Australian island continent. Even where communities live on their own land they don’t want to secede and they appear to still want to be supported by the Australian Government.

        As to African Americans my understanding was that in times past they were offered a chance to return to Africa and most refused. African Americans and American Indians also have full and equal rights as citizens and seem not to want to set up their own States, even if they could.

        The core error with UN Mandated Israel is the fantasy that one religion alone in the entire world, should have rights to land because of religious myths and fantasies.

  15. Ossinev
    March 16, 2017, 3:48 pm

    @Egbert
    “Israel responds by passing a law in the dead of night that bans Palestinian Parties unless they accept that Israel is a Jewish State”

    So brave and democratic this lovable admirable “start up nation”. And boy do their most moral and courageous IDF Waffen commandos love their dead of night activities snatching life threatening children from their beds:
    https://972mag.com/idf-suspends-plan-to-minimize-nighttime-arrests-of-children/102205/

    It must be truly horrific for genuinely democratic and moral Israeli Jews to watch this Fascist nightmare evolving around them.

  16. rosross
    March 16, 2017, 6:40 pm

    The UN clarified quite some years ago that racism was not just about race, but applied to any discrimination.

    Hence, Israel’s religious bigotry against non-Jews is racism and its cultural bigotry, one presumes since most Israelis are of European origin, against Arabs, another culture, is also racism.

  17. catalan
    March 16, 2017, 6:44 pm

    “Why do they not have a right to immigrate to the land of Israel too.. ?? They are still without a land of their own. – ”
    Kaisa,
    You must mistake me someone. I have always advocated for an open border world. Alexander, Ceaser and Napoleon all dreamed of that. The leap that humanity will make after the abolition of borders is beyond our imagination. I am also not a huge fan of Israel – I feel that North America and to an extent South America is the place for the remaining Jews.

    • talknic
      March 16, 2017, 9:43 pm

      @ catalan March 16, 2017, 6:44 pm
      Doesn’t bother to follow thread protocol
      Doesn’t answer a reasonably put question
      “I am also not a huge fan of Israel” Will say anything.
      (The will show catalan’s time here is spent trying to justify Israel’s illegal appropriation of other folks territories)

      • talknic
        March 17, 2017, 12:06 am

        (The record will show … … ) If’n it ever gets working again

  18. Boomer
    March 17, 2017, 10:41 am

    There are, of course, good practical, political, and legal reasons why Israel’s supporters object to the use of the apt descriptive word “apartheid.” But while reading this in WaPo, I wondered if there are psychological reasons as well. There are psychologists here who would know more than I about that. The analysis is ostensibly about the U.S. and Trump supporters, but I suspect it may be more applicable in some other contexts, including Israel.

    excerpt:

    “Recently, we explored a psychological characteristic that explains some of the support for Trump’s candidacy: collective narcissism, or an exaggerated belief in an in-group’s greatness, which must be continually reinforced from the outside.”

    full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/17/collective-narcissism-explains-at-least-some-of-president-trumps-support/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

  19. Juan R.
    March 17, 2017, 12:37 pm

    Head of U.N.’s ESCWA resigns over report on ‘apartheid’ Israel / Reuters : http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-israel-report-resignation-idUSKBN16O24X?il=0 The head of the United Nation’s West Asia commission resigned on Friday, after what she described as pressure from the secretary general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.

    • eljay
      March 17, 2017, 1:04 pm

      || Juan R.: Head of U.N.’s ESCWA resigns over report on ‘apartheid’ Israel / Reuters … ||

      … The report concluded “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”. The accusation – often directed at Israel by its critics – is fiercely rejected by Israel. …

      Yup, Israel fiercely rejects the accusation of apartheid in much the same way that Steven – a serial rapist of under-aged girls – fiercely rejects the accusation that he’s a pedophile. Both Israel (a self-proclaimed “moral beacon”) and Steven (who insists that he’s just an “average Joe”) will continue to justify their respective evils by pointing out that other evils exist in the world.

    • Boomer
      March 17, 2017, 3:04 pm

      I see from the Reuters story you linked that “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, had called for the report to be withdrawn and said on Friday that Khalaf’s resignation was appropriate.”

      That didn’t take long. I’m disappointed, but not surprised. George Orwell wouldn’t be surprised either. He wrote before the WWW, but he knew about changing history.

      • Juan R.
        March 18, 2017, 9:11 am

        Orwell cherished freedom and repudiated state apparatuses that crushed individuals. He detested anti-Semitism. In today’s perverse politics, despite his economics, Orwell would recoil from the far left’s totalitarianism, Islamist terrorist fellow traveling, and doublethink which leads purported progressives to justify fascistic, sexist, homophobic, anti-democratic Hamas, in its self-destructive, nihilistic offensive against Israel.
        Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/israel/203198/actually-george-orwell-would-support-israel/

      • eljay
        March 18, 2017, 1:34 pm

        || Juan R.: Orwell cherished freedom and repudiated state apparatuses that crushed individuals. … ||

        Yup, he would definitely have opposed a state like Israel which, among other things:
        – was conceived and established as a religion-supremacist construct;
        – was established and expanded by means of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, military occupation and colonialism;
        – remains engaged in a decades-long and on-going campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder; and
        – refuses to honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR).

        It’s cute how the author of the linked-to article takes another article’s author to task for “focus[ing] on side-issues and distort[ing] the big issue” even as he does exactly the same thing himself.

  20. Juan R.
    March 17, 2017, 12:55 pm

    Frederik Willem de Klerk, the former president of South Africa who negotiated to end his country’s apartheid regime, said that it was wrong to refer to Israel as an apartheid state.

  21. Juan R.
    March 17, 2017, 1:00 pm

    The 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution that stated “Zionism is Racism” was retracted in 1991 with 111 nations voting in favor of its repeal.

  22. Juan R.
    March 17, 2017, 2:07 pm

    A United Nations affiliate removed a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the internet following a request from the secretary-general of the international body.
    Antonio Guterres asked the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, or EWCWA, to remove the report, which was published Wednesday and says it “establishes, on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid,” Reuters reported Friday.

  23. Juan R.
    March 17, 2017, 2:08 pm

    That’s all for now folks….

  24. Kathleen
    March 17, 2017, 4:50 pm

    Hope folks are sharing this report and piece everywhere they can.

  25. captADKer
    March 17, 2017, 5:44 pm

    ESCWA comprises 18 Arab countries in Western Asia: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, The Sudan, The Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, The United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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