Media Release: Free Palestine Melbourne statement on Israeli apartheid and forthcoming Australian Federal election
Amnesty’s report, Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity, demonstrates how Israel violates numerous basic rights of 1.9 million Israeli Palestinians, 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians and 8 million Exiled Palestinians, and in particular for 55 years has denied Occupied Palestinians the chance to vote for the ‘democratic’ government ruling them.
The Report has provoked disingenuous Zionist allegations of lying and anti-Semitism against anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish humanitarians critical of Israeli human rights abuses.
Amnesty International joins other human rights specialists (Human Rights Watch, and Israeli B’Tselem and Yesh Din), human rights activists, and Jewish and non-Jewish South African anti-apartheid heroes (notably Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu) in exposing and condemning Israeli apartheid.
Anyone denying the entrenched reality of Israeli apartheid is challenged to demonstrate how the repressive laws, regulations and the enforcement of these applying only to Palestinians in areas as diverse as (e.g.) marriage, travel and property can otherwise be explained. In Amnesty’s words, the Report “documents how 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 apartheid under international law. This system is maintained by violations which Amnesty International found to constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention… Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem, Hebron, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights.” *
Denial of Israeli apartheid is notably espoused by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) to which Australia shamefully belongs with Coalition and Labor support. The IHRA’s weaponising of Holocaust denial to shield Israel from scrutiny and frank assessment has discredited its voice, and over 40 anti-racist Jewish organizations have condemned the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
Denial of Israeli apartheid, notably by the Australian and US governments and the Murdoch media though airy claims to ‘democracy’ and comparisons with nasty dictatorships, is unacceptable. The measure of whether or not Israel is an apartheid state is what is happening on the ground and Amnesty’s careful and detailed assessment clearly demonstrates that it is apartheid.
Decent anti-racist folk world-wide must (a) speak out to everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel for its flouting of the international statutes on apartheid.
In the 2022 Federal election, decent, anti-racist Australians should question all candidates about their position on Israeli apartheid, and vote accordingly.