Israeli treatment of Palestinians is the mechanics of apartheid. According to the study published by Amnesty’s report – the mechanisms and policies by which apartheid systems operate and reproduce oppression are being used by Israelis treatment of Arabs.
The report by Amnesty International is a 260-page document that extensively provides proof that the mechanics of apartheid are in place in Palestine.
In its report, published on Tuesday, the human rights monitor says there is a growing body of evidence to suggest these legal, technical and militaristic mechanisms are crimes worthy of prosecution in the International Criminal Court.
An apartheid regime by definition systematically empowers, enriches and emboldens one ethnic group to the direct detriment of another. In South Africa, from 1948 until the early 1990s, it was white people who advanced at the cost of black people.
In Israel and Palestine, according to Amnesty, it is Jewish Israelis benefitting from the systemic oppression of the native Arabs.
Israeli treatment of Palestinians
Amnesty’s report found that “massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to Israeli treatment of Palestine apartheid under international law.”
As a legal term, the word apartheid is defined as “an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination by one racial group over another.” It was deemed a crime against humanity under the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid — the “Apartheid Convention” — and then later the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Despite Israel signing up to the 1998 Rome Statute — though never ratifying it — Amnesty has documented extensive evidence that the Israeli state now engages in apartheid in the legal sense, potentially opening the door to prosecution in the ICC.
Domination over the native Palestinians
Amnesty’s 280-page report features a slew of allegations against Israel. One of the most egregious and widespread is the forcible displacement of the Palestinian people, whether through home demolitions, intimidation, legal mechanisms or the creation of adverse living conditions.
These demolitions separate the Palestinians from their ancestral homes, opening the door to further Israeli demographic domination over the native Palestinians.
“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,” Amnesty’s report said.
Privileged legal status – Amnesty’s report
This dominant demographic — Jewish Israelis — are “unified by a privileged legal status embedded in Israeli law, which extends to them through state services and protections regardless of where they reside in the territories under Israel’s effective control.”
These legal mechanisms, the report added, “systemically privilege Jewish citizens in law and in practice through the distribution of land and resources, resulting in their relative wealth and well-being at the expense of Palestinians.”
Movement restrictions described as “draconian” by Amnesty also provide a visceral reminder of the oppression that Palestinians face daily.
The internet is awash with images of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police interrogating and herding huddled masses of Palestinians through checkpoints, many of them hoping only to reach work or school unimpeded and on time.
Israel reacts furiously
The report immediately prompted fury among Israeli politicians who called for it to be withdrawn.
Among them was Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, who rejected the report as “divorced from reality”, saying: “Amnesty quotes lies spread by terrorist organisations.”
Lapid also accused Amnesty of antisemitism. “I hate to use the argument that if Israel were not a Jewish state, nobody in Amnesty would dare argue against it, but in this case, there is no other possibility,” Lapid said.
Israeli authorities have started to discredit Amnesty International using social media and closing access to further research in Palestine. Since yesterday Amnesty International has lost hundreds of followers on social media.