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IMEU: How Israel Practices Apartheid
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VISUALIZING PALESTINE: Between a Rising Tide and Apartheid
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Education It is Apartheid
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Additional Resources, News and Commentary on Israeli Apartheid
For authoritative reports on Israeli apartheid from legal experts and human rights organizations: CLICK HERE
ON THIS PAGE:
• Organizational Statements regarding the apartheid reports:
- Kairos Palestine, the BDS Movement, a coalition of Israeli organizations, and the JVP Rabbinical Council
• Fact Sheets, Explainers, etc
• News & Commentary
• Videos, Webinars, Podcasts
Kairos Palestine • 4 February 2022
Kairos Palestine welcomes Amnesty International Report
The over 250-page report exposes the reality that “Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has pursued an explicit policy of establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony and maximizing its control over land to benefit Jewish Israelis while minimizing the number of Palestinians, restricting their rights and obstructing their ability to challenge this dispossession.”
We are particularly grateful that Amnesty International begins its report by pointing to the roots of the May 2021 Unity Uprising that brought Palestinians together across ’48 Israel, Gaza and the West Bank (including illegally annexed East Jerusalem). Israel’s brutal response not only put the world on notice regarding Israel’s over seventy-year occupation, it also served to strengthen our cry for justice and our sense of unity.
Kairos Palestine calls on the Church, civil society and governments around the world to recognize the ongoing discrimination, dispossession of land, repression of nonviolent resistance, suppression of civil society organizations and indiscriminate killings, and pressure the State of Israel to end its occupation and apartheid.
See the statement
BDS Movement • 1 February 2022
Amnesty International Condemns Israeli Apartheid as a Cruel System of Domination
The BDS movement particularly welcomes Amnesty’s endorsement of the demands, #UNinvestigateApartheid, #MilitaryEmbargo, #SanctionsOnIsrael, #ICC4Israel, and its call on states and institutions to ban business with Israel’s illegal settlements.
The report is the latest in a series of studies confirming what Palestinian and international human rights experts and advocates have been saying for decades: Israel is perpetrating the crime of apartheid against the Indigenous Palestinian people.
Let’s make sure that governments and the UN take action to end Israel’s apartheid regime as they did with apartheid in Southern Africa in the past.
See the full statement
Israeli organizations • 3 February 2022
Human rights organizations from Israel condemn vicious attacks on Amnesty International
As human rights organizations based in Israel, striving to protect and defend the rights of all people in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, we are writing to express our grave concern about the vicious attacks on Amnesty International, following the publication of its report Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity.
Through our work, we document, verify and confront the ongoing injustice, inequality and violations of human rights and international law that Israel perpetrates against the Palestinians. Many of us have used the term and/or have made the legal designation of ‘apartheid’ in relation
to various aspects of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The debate around the crime of apartheid of which Israel is accused, and its geographical scope, is not only legitimate, but absolutely necessary.
See the full statement
Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council • 7 February 2022
Israeli Apartheid and the Path to Teshuvah
An Open Letter to the Jewish Community from the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council
We, the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace, stand by the recent reports which use the term ‘apartheid’ to describe Israeli rule over Palestinians. The past year’s reports by B’tselem, Human Rights Watch and now Amnesty International contain well-documented evidence describing how the State of Israel maintains a system of identity-baseddomination over Palestinians. This detailed evidence demonstrates the systemic and shocking human rights violations and extreme violence and cruelty unleashed upon Palestinians living both under Israeli military and civil jurisdiction.
See the full statement
FACT SHEETS, EXPLAINERS, ETC.
Be sure to look at the resources that organizations prepared to accompany their reports on Israeli apartheid:find them on this page.
Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU)
Is Israel an Apartheid State? : Fact Sheet
Since 1948, Israel has continued to systematically dispossess and discriminate against Palestinians inside Israel and in the territories Israel militarily occupied in the 1967 War (the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza), including by making it nearly impossible for most Palestinians to get permits to build new homes or apartments and destroying those that are built without permission. In places like the Negev desert in southern Israel, the government has been destroying entire villages as part of a plan to “Judaize” the region, evicting whole communities of Palestinians who are Israeli citizens and replacing them with Jewish Israelis.
IMEU • 8 February 2022
How Israel Practices Apartheid: Policy Backgrounder
Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, Israel has built and reinforced a single regime of rule to ensure Jewish Israeli supremacy and domination over the indigenous Palestinian people, who are politically and geographically fragmented into different categories in which they have lesser, little, or no rights in comparison to Israeli Jews depending on their status (second-class citizen, subject to military rule, or refugee). This is textbook apartheid.
Palestine Chronicle • 2 February 2022
Ten Things You Should Know about Amnesty International Report
on Apartheid Israel
by Romana Rubeo
On Tuesday, February 1, London-based international human rights group Amnesty International (AI) released an extraordinary report, which labels Israel an ‘apartheid state’. The report calls for Israel to be held accountable for its practices against Palestinians. The 280-page document, entitled ‘Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity’, outlines how the Israeli state segregates and controls Palestinians in order to maintain Jewish hegemony.
Though to be fully appreciated, the AI document must be read in its entirety, below are the top ten points raised by the international human rights group.
Jewish Currents • 9 February 2022
The Amnesty Report on Israeli Apartheid: An Explainer
by Alex Kane
Responses to common questions about the human rights organization’s decision to recognize the nature of the occupation.
AFSC • 1 October 2021
Why AFSC uses the term “Israeli apartheid”
by Mike Merryman-Lotze
Since 1948, AFSC has worked in Israel and Palestine to realize a just and lasting peace for all people in the region. Today, our teams in Jerusalem and Gaza work with both Palestinian and Israeli partners as they challenge the militarization of Israeli society and the fragmentation of Palestinian identity while also working to end human rights abuses and the occupation.
NEWS & COMMENTARY
Patheos • 25 January 2021
B’Tselem, apartheid, and correcting the ethical grammar on Israel/Palestine
by Robert A.H. Cohen
In the NGO’s view, it’s time to “call this by its proper name” under international law: Apartheid.
No longer is the NGO, which began its work in 1989, prepared to differentiate between Israel and the Occupied Territories and so perpetuate a political framing that says ‘occupation is wrong’ but Israel is fundamentally ‘good’. By changing its language and correcting our ethical grammar, B’Tselem removes Israel from the family of respectable, freedom-loving democracies.
The change in words and ethical grammar means Israel can no longer present itself as having ‘temporary security issues’ caused by ‘land disputes’. The new grammar makes clear that we are looking at long-term institutional immorality; human rights abuses caused by a state’s constitution; and on-going, legalised discrimination founded on the denial of another people’s national self-determination.
Arab News • 26 January 2021
Time for Israelis to confront the inconvenient truth
by Yossi Mekelberg
For years, friends and colleagues, many of them Palestinian, have been telling me that the manner in which Israel governs the Palestinians — and not only in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip — amounts to an apartheid regime. Intellectually, I understood their arguments and I have always sympathized with their plight. Yet, despite my fundamental political and moral objections, and sometimes disgust at the treatment not only of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank but also of those living inside Israel, who are supposed to enjoy full rights as citizens, I couldn’t bring myself to admit, even to myself, that the country of my birth was capable of intentionally, institutionally and systematically discriminating against those who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and happen not to be Jewish.
The New Yorker • 27 January 2021
Why an Israeli Human-Rights Organization Decided to Call Israel
an Apartheid Regime
by Masha Gesson
A central political question of our time is not so much where or how to draw the line but when. All over the world, we see regimes that are following clear trajectories away from democracy, justice, and freedom. As we watch them move inexorably along these disastrous paths, we wonder: When do we decide that the thing we feared would happen has happened already?
Thought habits can stand in the way of effective action. “The international community has been working to prevent formalization [of annexation], not on stopping the unacceptable de-facto reality, and it silently communicated that permanent subjugation of Palestinians was O.K. as long as it wasn’t spelled out in law,” El-Ad said. “We want to change the discourse on what is happening between the river and the sea,” meaning the territory controlled by Israel as a whole. “The discourse has been untethered from reality, and this undermines the possibility of change.”
The Nation • 28 April 2021
Human Rights Watch: Israel is an Apartheid State
by Kaleem Hawa
The human rights group’s report lends strength to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement
In the summer of 2014, after an Israeli siege and bombing of Gaza left hundreds of Palestinian children dead, tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets of their capital city to protest for the Palestinian people. There, addressing a crowd of South African workers, civil society organizations, trade unions, and political parties, the former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki called for a boycott of Israeli goods, evoking the parallels between his people’s experiences of apartheid and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians….
What comes next must be similar to the global effort to support the South African people in their fight to end apartheid: a campaign of moral, political, and economic boycott. Millions of Palestinians and Jews are demanding the end to the annexation of Palestine and the dismantlement of Israel’s colonies. Join them, and things will change, slowly.
VIDEOS, WEBINARS, PODCASTS
See the videos prepared by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to accompany their reports on Israeli Apartheid: on this page
Webinar • Al-Shabaka • 22 March 2021
This is Apartheid: Caabu & PSC briefing on the realities for Palestinians living under occupation
With renowned Palestinian lawyer Diana Buttu of Al-Shabaka and Hagai El Ad of, Executive Director of the largest Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem.
Israel's largest human rights group, B'Tselem, recently published a report: 'A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid'. Palestinians have been pointing out the apartheid reality they live in for years, but B'Tselem's declaration remains hugely significant.
See the webinar
Webinar • FMEP • 21 January 2021
Calling the Thing by its Proper Name: “Apartheid” Between the Jordan River & the Mediterranean Sea
Hagai El-Ad (B’Tselem)
Nathan Thrall (Author, journalist)
Sawsan Zaher (Adalah Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel)
Lara Friedman (Foundation for Middle East Peace)
It has long been debated whether the term “Apartheid” has a place in discussion of Israel’s rule over Palestinians on one side of the Green Line – or both. While many Palestinian analysts and activists have for decades used Black South Africans’ struggles against apartheid as a legal and moral touchstone in their challenges to Israeli policies, defenders of Israel have long rejected this framing as inaccurate and irrelevant to the Israeli context, attacking those using the term “Apartheid” – even with respect to only the situation in the Occupied Territories – as anti-Israel and even antisemitic.
Is it time to recognize Israel – on both sides of the Green Line – as an apartheid state? With the occupation – and the separate-and-unequal regimes it involves – now in its 54th year, and with the 28 year-old peace process paradigm and its two-state solution rendered obsolete by Israeli facts on the ground (established expressly for that purpose), and with the Nation-State law codifying discrimination against Palestinians as a constitutional principle of the state of Israel, the question has salience today, both with respect to injecting honesty into the discussion around Israel-Palestine and to injecting energy, focus, and urgency into the fight for justice, human rights, freedom, and peace.
To discuss this question, FMEP is proud to host Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of Israel’s premier human rights organization B’tselem, which recently published a ground-breaking paper entitled, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid;” Sawsan Zaher, Deputy General Director of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and who was part of Adalah’s legal team presenting oral arguments before the Israeli High Court of Justice in the petition against the Nation-State Law; and Nathan Thrall, an author and journalist who recently published an essay entitled, “The Separate Regimes Delusion.”
See the webinar
Podcast • FMEP • 2021
Occupied Thoughts: This is Apartheid with Hagai El-Ad
Hosted by Peter Beinart
In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” host Peter Beinart is joined by Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, to discuss B’Tselem’s new report, "“A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid.” Unlike frameworks that see the state of Israel as separate from the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem argues that there is a single Israeli regime in both the Occupied Territories and Israel: an Apartheid regime, organized to advance one group, Jews, over another, Palestinians.
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and a CNN Political Commentator.
Hagai El-Ad is the executive director of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Previously he was director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI, 2008–2014) and the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH, 2000–2006). In 2014, El-Ad was among Foreign Policy’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers”. In 2016 and again in 2018, he spoke before the United Nations Security Council calling for international action in order to end the occupation.
Hear the podcast
Webinar • Harvard Divinity School • 23 February 2021
What’s New About the New B’Tselem Report: A Moment of Moral Clarity
With Sam Bahour, Diana Buttu, Hagai El-Ad, and Orly Noy.
Moderated by RCPI Affiliate Duncan Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School
Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant who serves in various capacities in several community organizations.
Diana Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer specializing in negotiations, international law, and international human rights law.
Hagai El-Ad is an Israeli human rights activist and the executive director of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
Orly Noy is a political activist, and a translator of Farsi poetry and prose. She is a member of B’Tselem’s executive board and an activist with the Balad political party.
See the webinar
The instruments of international law that set out the criteria for identifying apartheid:
• The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
• The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
• The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Coalition • October 2018
Petition for an Order Nisi
Petition to the Israeli Supreme Court to Nullify the Nation State Law submitted by a coalition including Adalah and the Joint List of the Knesset
A petition is hereby filed in which the Honorable Court is requested to issue an order nisi directed at the Respondents ordering them to show cause as to why the Basic Law: Israel – The Nation-State of the Jewish People should not be nullified.
4. The Basic Law’s overriding objective is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity. It is no coincidence that proposals to ground the principle of equality in the Basic Law were rejected. In essence, the principle of non-discrimination is irrelevant, because, from the outset, Arabs and Jews are not equal under the Basic Law’s constitutional regime. Therefore, discrimination on the grounds of Jewish separation and supremacy is reflected in all articles of the Law. For example, although the Basic Law applies to a very large Arab population within the Green Line, it states that only Jews are citizens or potential citizens; and the Basic Law assigns exclusive collective rights to the Jewish majority as if it were a minority in danger of assimilation. And, contrary to international law, it completely ignores Arab citizens’ collective rights as a homeland minority, and it also nullifies the status of Arabic as an official language. Indeed, the principles articulated in this Basic Law are among the most extreme since the end of the apartheid regime [in South Africa].
Download the document
Adalah’s Discriminatory Laws Database (DLD)
Adalah’s Discriminatory Laws Database (DLD) is an online resource comprising a list of over 65 Israeli laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging. The discrimination in these laws is either explicit – “discrimination on its face” – or, more often, the laws are worded in a seemingly neutral manner, but have or will likely have a disparate impact on Palestinians in their implementation.
These laws limit the rights of Palestinians in all areas of life, from citizenship rights to the right to political participation, land and housing rights, education rights, cultural and language rights, religious rights, and due process rights during detention. Some of the laws also discriminate against other groups such as gays, non-religious Jews, and Palestinian refugees.
With the DLD, Adalah aims to raise awareness of these laws and the damaging impact they have on Palestinians in multiple spheres of life, and to challenge the commonly-repeated claim that Israel is a democratic state in which all citizens enjoy equal rights under the law.
See the database