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BRICS memo: Time ‘to take decisive action against the increasing Israeli Occupation as well as Israel’s apartheid policies’

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Over 150 protestors gathered March 26, 2013 at Speakers Corner at the 5th BRICS Summit taking place in Durban for the Memorandum handover. The Memorandum on Palestine was officially submitted to Marius Fransman, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. (more photos here)

Yesterday the BRICS Memorandum on Palestine was officially submitted to the forum of emerging market powers at the 5th BRICS Summit (BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) currently taking place in Durban, South Africa. The memorandum, represents the will of South African civil society and political organizations including South Africa’s largest trade union federation, COSATU.

BDS South Africa BRICS Memorandum on Palestine:

We now hereby call on BRICS to take decisive action against the increasing Israeli Occupation (and its illegal Settlement enterprise) as well as Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. The time has come for progressive countries that seek a peaceful and just world to take clear action in the interests of the oppressed Palestinians – taking such action would put BRICS on the side of the developing countries, on the side of the peoples of the world and on the right side of history.

The significance of this presentation should not be underestimated. South Africa was officially admitted as a BRICS nation in 2010 after being invited by China and the other BRIC countries (the new capital “S” in BRICS stands for South Africa) and was once at the receiving end of embargos from each of the other four countries, BDS South Africa explains:

India was one of the first countries in 1964 to have imposed a complete trade ban on Apartheid South Africa. All BRICS countries were part of either the 1964 and/or 1977 UN Security Council votes for an arms embargo on Apartheid South Africa. We thank these BRICS governments for their role played in our liberation through heeding and advancing our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid during the 1980s.

BRICS summits are convened with the intention of establishing an eventual equitable multi-polar world order. Ahead of last year’s summit Chinese President Hu Jintao said BRICS nations were a force for world peace. Here’s hoping the BRICS decide to adopt the same strategies for Israel the BRIC countries found applicable when dealing with Apartheid South Africa.

Below is the full and complete Memorandum on Palestine published by BDS South Africa.

– Submitted by South African civil society and political organizations to the 5th BRICS Summit
– Submitted by Buti Manamela to Marius Fransman
Durban, South Africa
– 26 March

2.  This 5th BRICS summit is held in a country that was once at the receiving end of generous international support and solidarity. Indeed, India was one of the first countries in 1964 to have imposed a complete trade embargo on Apartheid South Africa. All BRICS countries were part of either the 1964 and/or 1977 UN Security Council votes for an arms embargo on Apartheid South Africa. It is without doubt that South Africa’s democratization was impossible without such efforts by member states, thus decisive internationalism, in the interests of a just peace is proven crucial within the international relations system.

3.  We further recall that the very principles that underpin the international legal obligations not to recognize, aid or assist the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall, the Israeli settlement enterprise and the situation created by it – namely the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force, including the prohibitions against, and criminalization of population transfer – have been pioneered by the American States’ System and are applied today, among others, in the case of prohibition of vessels carrying the flag of Las Malvinas or transporting cargos that consolidate the illegal exploitation of the natural resources on the islands to dock in ports of the Mercosul and associated countries.

 4.  As citizens and organizations of a BRICS member country, South Africa, we hereby call on BRICS to take effective measures to uphold international law and human rights of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonialism. Taking such action would put BRICS on the side of the developing countries, on the side of the peoples of the world and on the right side of history.


“[W]hat is being done against the Palestinian people [by Israel] seems to me to be a version of the hideous policy of apartheid…perhaps we in the UN should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for… boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to end its violations.” (Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President of the United Nations General Assembly)

5.  Israel has been in an illegal military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights for almost half a century now.  Israel rules over the West Bank through a system of racial segregation inclusive of, amongst other things, separate roads, the Separation Wall, separate legal systems and separate buses. Despite international consensus regarding the illegality of Israel’s settlement enterprise, including the Separation Wall, Israel continues to expand and build with impunity its segregated and “Jewish-only” settlements and the Separation Wall on occupied Palestinian land. This is particularly demonstrated by Israel’s insistence to implement what it calls the E1-plan in East Jerusalem. All these violations are in contravention of basic human rights espoused in international law and make the implementation of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, as recognized by all BRICS members, impossible. More importantly, they render Palestinian life disposable and undignified and deny the Palestinian people their inalienable right to self-determination. 

6.  Israel has instituted racial discrimination and practices reminiscent of Apartheid rule in South Africa, as leading South African anti-apartheid figures have confirmed. In 2009, in a 300-page report commissioned by the South African government, the SA Human Sciences Research Council found that Israel is practicing a form of apartheid. Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups have subsequently published similar reports (see, “Separate but Unequal”). In 2011, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened in Cape Town and its Jury found Israel guilty of practicing apartheid, as defined in the International Convention for Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, passed in 1973. Most recently, in March 2012 the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) made similar findings and in January 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council found that there is “institutionalized discrimination” by Israel and its associated settlements enterprise toward the indigenous Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank.

7.  Israel has also imposed a cruel siege on Gaza, where it controls the land, air and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. Here, Israel controls all that flows in and out of the area including food supplies. Both the Israeli occupation and the siege have been condemned and declared illegal under international law. Beyond this siege Israel has carried out brutal and deadly attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza. In the winter of 2008-2009 Israel launched military attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza that resulted in the killing of more than 1400 people, including over 300 children. In 2010, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara ship that was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and killed 9 humanitarian aid workers in international waters. In November 2012 Israel embarked on a full-scale military offensive on Gaza killing over 150 people, including 30 children.

8.  Israel uses military force to maintain an unlawful regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, which is put in place in order to control as much land with as few indigenous Palestinians as possible and to prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their inalienable right to self-determination. This military force is particularly epitomised by several Western governments which were or still are directly complicit in the creation, development and deployment of Israel’s daunting nuclear threat. However, we have to denounce that BRICS member states, such as India as the world’s biggest importer of Israeli arms and Brazil as the fifth biggest importer, are de facto financing today through the public money of our people the completely export dependent Israeli military-industrial complex. This creates complicity, dependency and undermines national sovereignty and the credibility of BRICS and its member states as possible mediators for peace.
9.  In 2005, in response to Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid policies, and in view of the lack of will on the part of the official international institutions such as the Security Council together with other powerful countries to hold Israel to account, the great majority in Palestinian civil society, including all major political parties, issued a call to the international community, inspired by the South African anti-apartheid struggle, to impose Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it meets three obligations under international law by:

-        Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling its illegal Wall and settlements;
-        Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
-        Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

10.  We believe that these are just demands and that they are rooted in international law, as well as espoused in the values of freedom, justice and equality. In addition, these have been endorsed and supported by many organized formations of the freedom loving peoples of the world, particularly withing BRICS member. These organized formations include, amongst other civil society groups: trade unions, faith based organizations, youth structure and many more. (CUT in Brazil; COSATU, SACP, SACC, SASCO in South Africa; among others).


11.  The 2012 BRICS declaration states:

“We agree that the period of transformation taking place in the Middle East and North Africa should not be used as a pretext to delay resolution of lasting conflicts but rather it should serve as an incentive to settle them, in particular the Arab-Israeli conflict. Resolution of this and other long-standing regional issues would generally improve the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Thus we confirm our commitment to achieving comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the universally recognized international legal framework including the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. We encourage the Quartet to intensify its efforts and call for greater involvement of the UN Security Council in search for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We also underscore the importance of direct negotiations between the parties to reach final settlement. We call upon Palestinians and Israelis to take constructive measures, rebuild mutual trust and create the right conditions for restarting negotiations, while avoiding unilateral steps, in particular settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

12.  We believe that whilst this is a strong resolution, in that it calls for greater involvement of the UN Security Council in search for a just resolution, we recall as well the critique of the incapacity of the Security Council to deal with international crisis, such as the criticism expressed by Brazil in the opening of the 2012 UN General Assembly. In the face of Israel’s blatant disregard for international law and international consensus (and specifically its’ unilateral settlement construction on Palestinian land and military attacks and control of the Palestinian people), as well as the continuing deadlock of the UN Security Council through inevitable US vetoes, it is urgent to make reliance on alternative, legitimate and democratic UN mechanisms. Israel must be held accountable for its actions – its arms usage and illegal settlement enterprise in particular.

13.  Thus, a decisive consideration of the UNGA resolution ES-9/1 of 1982 stands a much better chance to foster the respect of international law and provides conditions for the negotiation process for a just peace to be realized without resorting to armed violence. Resolution ES-9/1 of 1982, in consideration of Israel’s total disregard of international law and the UN Charter, calls on all member States to apply the following non-violent measures:

(a)    To refrain from supplying Israel with any weapons and related equipment and to suspend any military assistance which Israel receives from them;
(b)    To refrain from acquiring any weapons or military equipment from Israel;
(c)    To suspend economic, financial and technological assistance to and co-operation with Israel;
(d)    To sever diplomatic, trade and cultural relations with Israel;

14.  These measures, or at least some of them, still provide a framework for power blocks, in an increasingly changing unipolar world, to contribute decisively to the democratization and peaceful resolution of conflicts without resorting to the aggression of armed violence. In this case, the Palestinians themselves see these measures as urgent, if not long overdue.

15.  Most recently, in October 2012, legal expert and United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, highlighted certain international businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise and advised that they should be boycotted, until they bring their operations in line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards. Highlighting the activities of companies such as Caterpillar Incorporated of the United States, Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom, the Dexia Group of Belgium, Ahava of Israel, the Volvo Group of Sweden, the Riwal Holding Group of the Netherlands, Elbit Systems of Israel, Hewlett Packard of the USA, Mehadrin of Israel, Motorola of the USA, Assa Abloy of Sweden, and Cemex of Mexico, the Special Rapporteur noted that a wide range of Israeli and international businesses are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the Israeli settlements: “All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been established in clear violation of international law,” said Mr. Falk.

16.  BRICS members currently on the Human Rights Council (Brazil and India) have decisively contributed to a recent UN resolution that officially adopted the report by the January 2013 UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission, led by French judge Christine Chanet, over the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, wherein the report produced by the fact-finding mission, urges governments and private corporations to consider economic and political sanctions against Israel. The UN resolution “demands that all parties concerned, including United Nations bodies, implement and ensure the implementation of the recommendations contained therein in accordance with their respective mandates;”.

17.   As citizens and organizations belonging to a member state of BRICS (South Africa) in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and in light of United Nations resolutions on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as the most recent recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council, we appeal to BRICS member states to bring their stated support for Palestinian rights in line with their economic and military policies, and as a bloc, to;

a.     Take immediate international action towards a mandatory comprehensive military embargo against Israel similar to that imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past; and,

b.     In accordance with international law, not to enter into any trade or investment relations with any Israeli or international company and/or entity known to be part of the construction and maintenance of the Wall and the settlements or to be sourcing, or otherwise profiting, from trade with Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. We urge an immediate ban of all Israeli companies that market settlement products from operating in the BRICS countries.

– Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU)
– South African Community Party (SACP)
– Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL)
– Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa)

Submitted to Marius Fransman, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation by Buti Manamela (South African Member of Parliament and National Secretary of the Young Communist League of South Africa) at the 5th BRICS Summit, Speaker’s Corner, Durban International Convention Centre, Braam Fisher Road (Durban, South Africa) on the 26 March, 2013.

1.  South Africa is hosting the fifth BRICS Summit at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) between the 26th and 27th of March 2013.  BRICS summits are convened to seek common ground on areas of importance for member countries and their economies with the intention of creating and establishing an equitable, democratic and multipolar world order.  BRICS mechanism aim to achieve peace, security, development and cooperation. It also seeks to contribute significantly to the development of humanity and establish a more equitable and fair world.
Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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54 Responses

    • annie on March 27, 2013, 3:51 pm

      thanks C&D, i was first informed about this when one of the jvp listserves sent it out 5 or 6 days ago. thus far, the only msm covering it is the times of israel and mossad aint making any statements on it. hot news tho. i’ve been following it on twitter at the hashtag #OpIsrael.

  1. Justpassingby on March 27, 2013, 3:35 pm

    BRIC taking any stance/action?
    Not going to happen unfortunately.

    South Africa: Sure this is the only state taking a stance against the occupation.
    Russia: Part of the problem, havent done anything to terminate the occupation
    India: Great partner of West but also Israel
    China: They couldnt care less
    Brazil: Lack political power/will and interest

    • Hostage on March 27, 2013, 5:31 pm

      BRIC taking any stance/action?

      Of course. They were instrumental in the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s status. Russia, China, and India have formally recognized the State of Palestine ever since the 1988 PLO Algiers declaration. All three countries have hosted embassies of the State of Palestine for decades.

      Brazil led the campaign among the Mercosur trade block States a few years ago to recognize the State of Palestine; host its embassies in the Western hemisphere; and sign trade agreements with Palestine that are enforceable through the WTO, UN Economic and Social Council, & etc.

      *See Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay recognize Palestinian state

      * PA, Mercosur sign free trade agreement

      • Justpassingby on March 27, 2013, 5:40 pm

        States have recognized Palestine for decades, that havent changed anything. What is needed is real pressure and that is sanctions and types of boycotts.

      • Hostage on March 27, 2013, 7:41 pm

        I’ve pointed out below some of the notable Indian and South African personalities and official who have spoken out against Apartheid, Zionism, and other forms of racial or religious segregation. The South African government is one of the few that announced investigations of members of the IDF after Operation Cast Lead. I believe it has made at least one state referral of a case involving one of its citizens to the ICC Prosecutor, based upon its jurisdiction as a signatory of the Rome Statute.

        The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa is a statutory public research institution established by the Parliament. It commissioned the landmark study of the situation in Palestine: “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?”

      • American on March 28, 2013, 2:13 pm

        @ Hostage

        Somewhere I lost an article interviewing the top Hamas official talking about the “economics” of Palestine/Gaza and the States lined up and willing to trade with it if the Israeli blockade was ended. you perchance have this article?

    • Keith on March 27, 2013, 5:32 pm

      JUSTPASSINGBY- “BRIC taking any stance/action? Not going to happen unfortunately.”

      I agree. Nations are not moral agents, alliances of nations even less so. BRICS exists to pursue the geopolitical objectives of the BRICS elites. As such, any anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian action would have to be undertaken with an unstated geopolitical objective. Furthermore, none of the BRICS nations is particularly praiseworthy in any event, Brazil perhaps less odious than the rest. If they provide some sort of counterweight to the empire, fine, but don’t get your hopes up.

      • Hostage on March 27, 2013, 7:58 pm

        On the contrary, the government of South Africa and its public institutions (like the HSRC) together with South African UN officials (like High commissioner Navi Pillay, Special Rapporteur John Dugard) and officials on mission for the UN (like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Judge Goldstone) and hundreds of South African university faculty members have been very, very outspoken in: 1) their official criticism of the occupation; 2) their condemnation of the illegal Gaza blockade; 3) their belief that members of the IDF should be prosecuted for war crimes; and 4) their belief that an advisory opinion should be obtained from the ICJ on the Question of Israel’s responsibility for the international crime of apartheid.

      • Dan Crowther on March 28, 2013, 8:28 am

        Oh yeah Hostage, South Africa’s the best – it’s not like their killing striking workers by the hundreds or anything……

        ” Viva Palestina”
        – Genghis Khan

        And the MW echo chamber rejoices.

        Let’s get serious. This isn’t about palestinians, its about control and power. They’re meeting in Durban to make their plans to oust the West – good for them I say – and I/P is that issue that only the “most serious” have a stance on, they use I/P to “announce their presence with authority.” Its pure politics nothing else

      • Keith on March 28, 2013, 2:11 pm

        HOSTAGE- “On the contrary, the government of South Africa and its public institutions…. have been very, very outspoken….”

        Better they speak out than not speak out, however, more substantive action will not be undertaken unless it benefits their elites, a highly unlikely event. And, while they may get some political benefit out of criticizing Israel, four of the five BRICS have serious domestic issues which they should attend to, hardly champions of human rights in their own domains. Furthermore, while they may jockey for increased influence, they all are part of the global system which they essentially support. They may serve a somewhat different 1%, but champions of the downtrodden they are not.

      • Keith on March 28, 2013, 2:57 pm

        HOSTAGE- More on BRICS from Patrick Bond at Counterpunch:

        “The reach of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) leaders was palpable this week, not just here in Durban where they gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday to plan investments and infrastructure, but everywhere on the continent where extraction does extreme damage.”

        “The awful news from Bangui should have been a wake-up call to BRICS heads of state, to clear their heads and contemplate the extractive-industry crises they are amplifying, hand-in-glove with Western corporations and the 15 African leaders who met just after BRICS concluded at Durban’s wealthiest gated-community resort, Zimbali.”

        “It all reeks of the crony capitalism that characterized the gatherings between BRICS state bureaucrats and corporate interests, who crowded into the same Durban convention centre hallways this week. Pretoria’s foreign ministry explicitly excluded anyone from civil society from attending, and SA’s most accomplished environmentalist, Bobby Peek, was even prohibited from entering for a debate on national radio on Tuesday.”

        That leaves BRICS rulers and their corporations to quietly plan the further looting of Africa, joined by the pliable guests led by Museveni. However, subsidized state funding is needed to facilitate deals because commercial banks know there are intolerable risks – like those the SANDF troops just suffered.”

        A genuinely counterhegemonic financial strategy would have been for BRICS to instead support the late Hugo Chavez’s Bank of the South. The idea was spurned, as BRICS elites apparently want an institution without any residue of more progressive development ideals.”

        Revealing its new orientation, the pro-privatisation DBSA has, in recent weeks, been firing most of its social and environmental staff and shutting down its development journal and library. Its record of infrastructure investment – including commercialized water and toll-roads – does not bode well for people or the planet. Expect the BRICS Bank’s subsidized rail, road and port credits to lubricate more multinational corporate extraction.”

      • Hostage on March 28, 2013, 7:32 pm

        Oh yeah Hostage, South Africa’s the best – it’s not like their killing striking workers by the hundreds or anything…… And the MW echo chamber rejoices.

        The question wasn’t whether the BRICS are abusing human rights or not. It was whether they would take a helpful stance/action on the issue of apartheid, and the occupation of Palestine?

        The United States government has put a larger percentage of our own population in prisons than any of the BRICS. It has killed hundreds of thousands of Muslim people in the last decade and made millions of them refugees. It has facilitated and helped fund the illegal Zionist enterprise in Palestine from the very beginning. That doesn’t mean that our government doesn’t occasionally yield to pressure from grassroots political movements and change some of its unhelpful policies and practices. Its official positions on South African apartheid and the South African occupation of Namibia are cases in point. So yes, the governments of the BRICS have taken stances/actions that have been helpful, regardless of their apparent political motives.

  2. Rusty Pipes on March 27, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Speaking of Middle Eastern appeals to BRICS, Assad calls for BRICS support

    Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appealed Wednesday to the leaders of a five-nation economic forum meeting in South Africa to help end his country’s two-year conflict.

    Assad says Syria is being subjected to “acts of terrorism backed by Arab, regional and Western nations” – a reference to the Western-backed opposition fighting his government.

    Assad’s appeal came in a letter sent to the BRICS forum of emerging market powers. The World Bank says these countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are driving global economic growth.

    BRICS nations have notably been discussing the creation of a development bank in a direct challenge to the World Bank, accused of conveying Western biases.

  3. Hostage on March 27, 2013, 6:41 pm

    We all know that one of the most clueless things that pundits are known to ask is the rhetorical question: “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?” That overlooks the fact that Gandhi, and the Indian government were outspoken critics of South African apartheid and Zionism in Palestine:

    On 22 June 1946 the Indian government requested that the discriminatory treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa be included on the agenda of the very first session of the General Assembly.

    — See UN and Apartheid from 1946 to Mandela Day

    Gandhi had lived and practiced law in South Africa for much of his early life. He was imprisoned by Bristish authorities in India for his role in leading the campaign for home rule, including protests and hunger strikes against the British government’s racist decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.
    See his autobiographical “Law and Lawyers” and Sep 16, 1932: Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation

    He denounced Zionism as a form of racism, which he felt was identical to the kind of religious and racial discrimination he had fought all his life. In much the same fashion as Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, Gandhi wrote an article in his own journal, Harijan, of 26 November 1938 which labeled the situation in Palestine “a crime against humanity”:

    It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct … Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.

    — See Homer A Jack (editor), The Gandhi Reader: a source book of his life and writings, By Mahatma Gandhi, Grove Press, 1994, page 218

    Indian Prime Minister Nehru spoke out publicly against conflating ancient religious ties with political or civil rights and the corrupt methods that were used to obtain passage of the UN partition proposal. He said the Zionists had tried to bribe India with millions. He complained that at the same time his sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit the head of the Indian delegation to the United Nations, had received daily warnings that her life was in danger unless she “voted the right way”. See Najma Heptulla, Indo-West Asian relations: the Nehru era, Allied Publishers, 1991, page 158,

    Norman Finkelstein has started employing some of Gandhi’s advice in his approach to exploiting existing public attitudes regarding a fair settlement for Palestinians, but he has not called much attention to Gandhi’s views on Zionism.

    South African lawyer and jurist Navi Pillay is another person of Indian descent who has been critical of Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories. She served as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), before assuming her current position as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. During her first term she conducted her own fact facting mission to Gaza and declared that the closure and blockade were illegal on the grounds of international humanitarian law.

    South Africa also conducted its own investigations of persons suspected of involvement in crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead. See “Charges Laid against Israeli Officer in South Africa”

    • on March 28, 2013, 2:10 pm

      We all know that one of the most clueless things that pundits are known to ask is the rhetorical question: “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?”

      And the common reply to this clueless albeit rhetorical question is: “He is an Israeli jail, along with the other thousandths of Palestinians who peacefully oppose Apartheid and occupation.”

    • asherpat on March 28, 2013, 7:12 pm

      @hostage, isn’t it also true that great pious Ghandi advised the Jews in Nazi occupied territories to practice civil disobedience and peaceful protests?

      I wonder why that didn’t work in concentration camps, and how does that reflect on his other musings, especially those that you bring in you reply above.

      • Cliff on March 28, 2013, 9:32 pm

        did he say that asherpat?

        could you cite where Ghandi said to practice non-violence in the concentration camps?

      • Djinn on March 28, 2013, 10:33 pm

        It doesn’t work too well in the OPT either, see the list of those arrested without charge, detained, injured & killed for taking part in non violent action against the occupation.

      • Hostage on March 28, 2013, 10:48 pm

        @hostage, isn’t it also true that great pious Ghandi advised the Jews in Nazi occupied territories to practice civil disobedience and peaceful protests?

        LOL! It seems that the only thing that “worked in concentration camps” was a declaration of total war by the rest of the world against the aggressors. Are you suggesting we adopt that approach to the Israeli occupation or what?

        I wonder why that didn’t work in concentration camps, and how does that reflect on his other musings, especially those that you bring in you reply above.

        Let’s make a list of things that also didn’t work for the Jews and see if they are somehow superior:
        *The leaders of the major Jewish organizations around the world advised everyone to adopt a trade boycott against The Third Reich. That didn’t work in the concentration camps. So how does that reflect upon the musings of some of those same Jewish organizations today?

        *The Zionist Organization entered into a business partnership with the The Third Reich under the terms of Circular 54/1933 of the Reich Ministry of Finance, August 28, 1933. That allowed a handful of wealthy Jews to circumvent the limits imposed by the existing German foreign currency control laws. Jewish émigrés were required to deposit an amount of currency equivalent to 1000 Palestinian Pounds in order to freely enter Palestine as a “capitalist” under the applicable British laws. That plan didn’t work for the millions of destitute Jews who were robbed and transported to the extermination camps.

        FYI, the Haavara Agreement only stipulated that in cases where the German Emigration Advisory Office confirmed on behalf of a wealthy Jew that “further sums of money were necessary and adequate for the purpose of starting a new life in Palestine” that the wealthy Jew could be granted an additional excess sum in any amount on condition that it was paid at the Reichsbank into the Special Jewish Trust Account. None of that was possible for the poor Jews who didn’t possess 1000 or more Palestinian Pounds in the first place. So the Haavara agreement didn’t work at all for the majority of Jews in the camps.

        Documents captured as a result of the North African campaign revealed that Hitler planned to double cross his Zionist business partners and exterminate the Jews of Palestine in the end. So how does that reflect upon the musings of Zionists today who think that Israel is some kind of special safe haven for the Jews?

      • asherpat on March 31, 2013, 9:50 am

        @hostage, as usual, your answer to my reply is long and supported, but this time, your true colors shine through, you are a stock holocaust denier, or, at the least justifier of Nazis, after all, according to you, Jews collaborated with the Nazis, and were in fact Hitler’s business partners.

        do you also have supportive documents that Jews were not murdered by Einzatztruppen, gassed and burned in concentration camps? Or perhaps they were sold to Hitler in exchange for Palestine? So Hitler was double crossing the Mufti in the famous photo-op while cajoling with the Jews, now it all falls into place for me.

      • Hostage on March 31, 2013, 2:49 pm

        your true colors shine through, you are a stock holocaust denier, or, at the least justifier of Nazis, after all, according to you, Jews collaborated with the Nazis, and were in fact Hitler’s business partners.

        Nothing in my comment above denied the Holocaust occurred or justified the crimes committed by the Nazis. When you run out of intelligent arguments, you obviously fall back on the usual shopworn practice of making false and groundless accusations against others.

        The fact that the World Zionist Organization had a business partnership with The Third Reich is no secret, it’s a matter of public record. The World Zionist Congress discovered that the Anglo-Palestine Bank barter agreement with the Third Reich was not limited to transactions involving the assets of German Jewish refugees. In fact, the Bank was serving as Hitler’s agent in sales transactions of manufactured goods with other countries. The Zionist Executive took direct control of the agreement from the Haavara Ltd. trustee in order to end that practice:

        Late last night, amid tumultuous scenes during which delegates of the Jewish State Party shouting “Hitler Agents buy German goods!” demonstratively left the hall, the Congress adopted a resolution favoring the continuance of the Palestine-German barter agreement. The Congress decision, however, removes control of the transfer from the Haavara, special trustee office created for the execution of the pact, and lodges supreme control with the World Zionist Executive.

        Rabbi Silver informed the Congress that the committee had adopted a series of resolutions in connection with the barter pact which were not publishable, but which guaranteed that the transfer be limited only to transactions involving the capital of German-Jewish immigrants and that no goods imported from Germany through the transfer agreement can be sold in countries neighboring Palestine, he said.

        — Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Favor Transfer Agreement Continuance, September 4, 1935

      • Donald on March 29, 2013, 9:41 am

        “I wonder why that didn’t work in concentration camps, and how does that reflect on his other musings, especially those that you bring in you reply above.”

        Let me answer that for you, as you seem weak in the area of logical reasoning. It doesn’t reflect on them at all–whatever one thinks of the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance against Nazis (it did work in some cases, though I think it would have to be people other than Jews doing it to work against the Nazis), Gandhi’s criticisms of racial and ethnic discrimination remain valid.

      • CloakAndDagger on March 29, 2013, 4:27 pm

        @ asherpat

        So you are recommending that the Palestinians should abandon their non-violent protests and resort to armed violence, based on your observations of the concentration camps?

        Duly noted.

      • asherpat on April 1, 2013, 9:11 am

        Cloak, Palestinians and Arabs have been waging violent struggle with Jews since early 20-th century. This fact is undisputed and any sane person will agree with it. Do you not agree.?

      • American on April 1, 2013, 11:35 am

        @ asherpat

        “since early 20-th century”>>>>>>>

        And why wouldn’t they? Any people would have. The first Zionist adherents had already started moving into Palestine in the late 1800’s and were already ‘causing trouble” before 1948. The Zionist true believers were what they ‘were’ even before the ‘holocaust’ … much for “the holocaust made us do it” excuse. They were and are a f’ing destructive cult period.

        Educate yourself..

        British National Archives Documents on ME

        Minorities in the Middle East: Jewish Communities in Arab Countries 1841–1974

        These documents explore the treatment and position of Jewish communities in Arab countries in the modern period and provide detailed accounts of treatment both of individuals at a local level and of regulation of the community at an institutional level. The first two volumes study the position of Jews during the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Later volumes consider conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt and the Maghreb states: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The documents reflect the acknowledged historical generalisation that the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule; however, the situation changed abruptly in 1948, with anti-Jewish feeling increasing after the the founding of the Israeli state, and succeeding years saw dramatic reductions in Jewish communities in the Arab world as emigration to Israel and elsewhere proceeded apace’.

      • Bumblebye on April 1, 2013, 11:42 am

        asherpat, Jews immigrating to the region have been waging violent struggle with Palestinians and Arabs since the early 20-th century [for the purpose of wresting the land from its rightful owners]. This fact is indisputable and any sane person will agree with it.
        There, that’s better.

      • Cliff on April 1, 2013, 12:23 pm


        Jews have been waging war against the Palestinians and Arabs since the early 20th century.

      • CloakAndDagger on April 2, 2013, 7:20 pm

        @ American

        the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule

        Biting the hand that feeds you – and then stealing their land and murdering their children. How dare they respond violently to that!

  4. foresomenteneikona on March 28, 2013, 12:27 am

    Great comments. Thanks, Hostage.
    I must say that China’s treatment of Tibet (among other things) would seem to render hypocritical any action it took against Israel on behalf of Palestinians.

    • pabelmont on March 28, 2013, 3:19 pm

      China claims to own Tibet. Not everone agrees, but * * *. By contrast, Israel has never stated its boundaries. It has (sort of) said that it “annexed” Golan and East Jerusalem (just what “East Jerusalem” means in this case, I don’t know, maps are so fluid), but “annexed” to WHAT? It has explicitly claimed that its borders-or-whatever established in 1950 truces were not legal-boundaries but merely armistice-lines, temporary. Its surge into West Bank seems to me to demonstrate that it does not regard the 1950-1967 lines as legal boundaries. But it has stated no OTHER boundaries.

      So — to conclude — the Israeli occupation is not the same as Tibet. And, in any case, China is under no obligation to be consistent. and — moreover — China cannot fear that anything could threaten its hold on Tibet. So why should Tibey hold china back from a BRICS action against USA/Israel?

      No — the reason BRICS will probably not act is the same reason all other countries will not act: laziness, money to be lost by businessmen, pressure from USA (look at poor Iran thee days, Iraq earlier), etc. Nothing much to gain, much to lose.

    • Hostage on March 28, 2013, 7:55 pm

      I must say that China’s treatment of Tibet (among other things) would seem to render hypocritical any action it took against Israel on behalf of Palestinians.

      You might say the same thing applied to the US government’s on-going treatment of our so-called “domestic dependent tribal nations” and its actions against South Africa on behalf of some other oppressed tribal peoples.

      The notion that conditions are worse somewhere else in the World, and that the Palestinian people should wait patiently until everyone else’s more pressing problems can be resolved first, are effective talking points that have served the hasbara fellowship pretty well for more than 60 years.

    • Dan Crowther on March 29, 2013, 7:17 pm

      This is actually a wonderfully illustrative comment:

      “I must say that China’s treatment of Tibet (among other things) would seem to render hypocritical any action it took against Israel on behalf of Palestinians.”

      I’ll guess that forsometeneikona is american – and as an american, one is duty bound to mention the chinese gov’t in tibet as an example of their cruelty etc – and much of it is true. What’s interesting is, the “I” in BRIC. India’s crimes in Kashmir are probably greater and yet because they are a staunch american ally, they dont even exist. couldn’t even be thought of to mention.

  5. Citizen on March 28, 2013, 5:11 am

    Ben White’s Beginners Guide to Israeli Apartheid:

  6. tokyobk on March 28, 2013, 5:16 am

    Well China is certainly expert in occupation, neocolonialism, and arresting Muslims and holding them without trial as “terrorists,” and no this is not a deflection from Israel or BDS.

    • American on March 28, 2013, 2:21 pm

      “and no this is not a deflection from Israel or BDS.”…tokyobk

      Yes it is…it’s the same old… Zio Rule No 2:..If you criticize Israel you must also criticize and list every single nation in the world who is as bad as Israel.
      It doesn’t make Israel look any better so quit wasting your time with deflections.

    • Ecru on March 29, 2013, 7:21 am

      No of course not, a deflection why the very idea.

      Yeah sure, pull the other one it’s got bells on.

    • Cliff on March 29, 2013, 6:11 pm

      It is a deflection.

      One of Israel’s closest allies was Apartheid SA.

      And Nelson Mandela was only recently removed from the US’s terrorist list.

      Meanwhile, we just removed MEK from the terrorist list so they could be funded and aided in their terrorism against Iran.

      There are no angels.

      But you dont care do you? Only as a petty, passive aggressive rhetorical point.

      I never thought human beings could be so bleak and apathetic and hypocritical until I began reading Liberal Zionists and Liberal Jews who support Israel’s “right to exist.”

      There’s no difference between you and settlers. You simply disagree on how much stolen land Israel should keep.

      • Ecru on March 30, 2013, 1:36 am

        There’s no difference between you and settlers. You simply disagree on how much stolen land Israel should keep.

        Excellently, and truthfully put!

    • James Canning on April 1, 2013, 2:14 pm

      tokyobk – – ARe you saying China “occupies” Tibet? Manchuria? East Turkistan?

  7. pabelmont on March 28, 2013, 8:59 am

    The idea of a nation-state BDS movement has been an idea of mine which I have frequently (and to others, doubtless tiresomely) promoted in MondoWeiss and kindred blogs. I wanted it to happen, and never thought it would happen in a useful time-frame (say my remaining lifetime).

    My goal for sanctions was full removal of settlers, dismantlement of wall and all settlement buildings (residences, factories, universities, police stations,
    city halls, etc,., in short “all”) and ending siege of Gaza.

    It was not a goal of mine to demand democracy in Israel or even a PRoR, because I was not sure what those ideas meant or how to measure compliance.

    Not sure there will ever be international sanctions to bring any sort of useful change in I/P, but this urging to BRICS is heartening.

    Care needs to be taken, howoever, in the “be careful what you pray for” category. Just as many people are demanding a 1SS democracy to replace the current 1SS w/o democracy, a big international shove could result in a partial Israeli pull-back from WB, leading to a quasi-2SS, but one which leaves far too many settlements and settlers, especially around Jerusalem.

    If successful, BRICS and others might tire of the continuous effort to oppose USA and globalized international capitalism (aka neo-liberalism, I suspect) and stop their sanctions too early.

    So, here as elsewhere, it is important for those who push for action to be clear on the actions they want and the RESULTS they want — and then to monitor events as to means and ends. As many wruiters aver, plans for war are terrific until the battle begins, at which point it gets confused and plans are forgotten.

    • James Canning on April 1, 2013, 2:16 pm

      pabelmont – – Billions of dollars have been spent on buildings and other improvements in the illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank. And you think this should all be bulldozed?

  8. asherpat on March 28, 2013, 10:59 am

    When “BRICS” refer to “increasing” occupation, what is “increasing” in the “occupation” since 1967? if you don’t count life expentancy and income per capita that is. Pls explain to me, someone.

    • Sumud on March 28, 2013, 12:25 pm

      When “BRICS” refer to “increasing” occupation, what is “increasing” in the “occupation” since 1967?

      West Bank
      – more illegal Israeli settlers squatting in occupied Palestine
      – more land stolen by illegal Israeli settlers in occupied Palestine
      – more illegal Israeli settler’s raw sewage polluting occupied Palestine
      – more olive trees burnt, stolen and chopped down by illegal Israeli settlers in occupied Palestine
      – more Palestinians attacked & killed by Israelis in occupied Palestine
      – more Palestinians houses demolished in occupied Palestine
      – more Palestinian water stolen each and every day from occupied Palestine and piped to Israel
      – more Palestinian natural resources (other than water) stolen every day from occupied Palestine
      – more Palestinians permanently prevented from entering occupied East Jerusalem by revocation of their “passes” – as if they need a pass to access their own territory
      – more Palestinians driven from their own land in Area C of occupied Palestine as Israel deliberately ‘herds’ them into the Bantustans (AKA: Areas A and B)
      – more Palestinians and international activists injured and killed by the IDF

      – more and more salinity in the ground water in occupied Palestine
      – ever increasing size of buffer zone in occupied Palestine, reduction of agricultural land that can be worked without the IDF shooting farmers
      – more Gazans injured and/or killed daily in Gaza as Rafael & various other Israel weapons manufacturers test their weapons so they can claim “battlefield tested”

      – number of occupied Palestinians who have lived their entire lives under the Israeli jackboot.
      – number of UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel
      – number of individual citizens, companies and governments participating participating in BDS
      – number of people whose opinion of Israel is at an all time low.

      Can you please supply some sourced data to back your claim that income per capita has increased in occupied Palestine? Including Gaza.

      Are you suggesting that occupied Palestinians are doing well under Israeli occupation?!? Be honest, if you can.

    • Djinn on March 28, 2013, 10:38 pm

      It’s pretty simple, the amount of land being stolen is increasing. The number of colonists is increasing, the number of checkpoints and closures is increasing. The obdurate crimes of the Israeli state are increasing.

    • thankgodimatheist on March 28, 2013, 11:28 pm

      “When “BRICS” refer to “increasing” occupation, what is “increasing” in the “occupation” since 1967? if you don’t count life expentancy and income per capita that is. Pls explain to me, someone.”
      How about emptying entire zones of their inhabitants and declaring others as “State Land” for the benefit of illegal settlements?!
      BTW, are you saying that Palestinian life “expectancy and income per capita increase” are due to the occupation?! And you wouldn’t want us to see you for the fascistoid arseh*le that you are?

    • Hostage on March 28, 2013, 11:28 pm

      When “BRICS” refer to “increasing” occupation, what is “increasing” in the “occupation” since 1967? if you don’t count life expentancy and income per capita that is. Pls explain to me, someone.

      Surely. “Israel admits it revoked residency rights of a quarter million Palestinians” in the inhabited portions of the occupied territories that are subject to its various Judaization programs. Entire villages have been evicted in the Jordan valley and elsewhere in Palestine. Much of the information on the subject is available from public sources in Israel.

  9. Talkback on March 28, 2013, 8:02 pm

    I don’t get why people come up with Apartheid six decades after the expulsion and denationalization of people who should have been Israelis. It was Apartheid right from the beginning.

    Crime of Apartheid:
    “inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

    Or didn’t Jews commit inhumane acts or crimes against humanity by expelling and denationalizing Nonjewish citizens of Palestine and keep it this way to dominate and maintain their Zionist regime?

    • Hostage on March 28, 2013, 10:00 pm

      I don’t get why people come up with Apartheid six decades after the expulsion and denationalization of people who should have been Israelis. It was Apartheid right from the beginning.

      Exactly. It’s even worse to pretend that apartheid is just around the corner, but can still be avoided if the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem is brought to an end in the nick of time.

      Israel was born as a result of “eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide”. See the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, 26 November 1968.

  10. gamal on March 29, 2013, 9:59 am

    it is possible, even for Israel, to take a position, in the arena of international relations that is both correct legally and has the potential to render benefits, it would not be wrong, in the context of examining whatever that issue might be, to acknowledge that, however disappointed one might be about Israels domestic policy, its not either or.

    The events in SA etc are generated structurally, globally, however appalling they are, and yes they are, this does not mean that either SA or Israel or any other vastly more reprehensible nation can be reduced to these calumnies, as the ever clear Hostage implies unless we accept and support any instance where governments advance policies consonant with international law and human welfare and dignity ( we are duty bound to support it), otherwise how are we going to extricate ourselves from this disastrous situation, seriously what else is there to support, isnt this a help to those resisting?

    and yes it is about control and power, in the current world by what other metric could any state act? The brics are carving a much needed space where governance by drone, assassination, blockade, invasion and imperial fiat could be more difficult, i vote for that, why be suspicious when of course they are acting in their own interests they must, or more properly the interests of their ruling classes, lacking any means i personally have nothing else to support than the demand that all states obey the laws all of them, i agree with anyone who suggests that, isnt it that simple.

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