A threshold crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

Dawn queue for Palestinians at Israeli checkpoint

Dawn queue for Palestinians at Israeli checkpoint

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A threshold crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

On 27th April 2021 Human Rights Watch published a report entitled A threshold crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution. This documents many examples of where the policies followed by successive Israeli governments over the years merit the definition of Israel as an ‘Apartheid State’.

From it’s inception the State of Israel has been an artificial creation, it’s only legitimacy coming from it being sanctioned by an imperialist power (Britain, through the Balfour Declaration of 1917) where the state was created on land already occupied by another people.

From its earliest days (even before the official declaration of the formation of the State on 14th May 1948) Zionist invaders of the territory of Palestine sought to maintain their control of the area by the use of force and terror. An example (but only one of many) of this is the massacre of Palestinians at the village of Deir Yassin which took place on 9th April 1948 where at least 107 Palestinian men, women and children were slaughtered by members of the Israeli terrorist groups Irgun and the Stern Gang – with the total complicity of the ‘official’ Israeli armed forces.

The word ‘apartheid’ is normally associated with the institutionalised racism against the indigenous population of the regime that existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1994. (It’s a strange quirk of history that the ‘official’ beginning of apartheid – racism had been endemic in South Africa since the arrival of the first settlers in the 17th century – coincided with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.) However, the separate development that occurred in Palestine in the 1950s and 60s was an apartheid policy in all but name. The process has only been accelerated in recent years, especially after years when whatever the Israelis inflict upon the Palestinian population results in no repercussions from the so-called ‘international community’ and any, and all, resolutions of the United Nations are just ignored with equal impunity.

It is as this arrogance and entitlement grew that Israel’s original attitude to the South African Apartheid regime changed. After initially being a ‘supporter’ of the Black African population when both countries became international social pariahs (apart from their imperialist friends) their relationships became closer. By the early 1980s Israel was South Africa’s closest military ally and the Apartheid regime’s most important foreign arms supplier. Against whom those arms were going to be used if not the Black population of South Africa itself or in support of those opposing the national liberation movements in Southern Africa then where?

By the time the regime in South Africa had changed in the early 1990s Israel was well on the road to replacing South Africa as the world’s most blatant ‘apartheid’ regime.

What is surprising about this report is that it has taken so long to be produced and disseminated. Even the most casual observer of the situation of the Palestinians in those small parts of Palestine they are being forced to live in could have told you that decades ago.

For an online version of the report, which includes a short but concise video, click here.

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