Sunday September 19, 2021

Guilty as charged

We know that since 2014 Israel has jailed, maimed and killed more Palestinians in Gaza and beyond, including during an 11-day murderous blitz in May. Meanwhile, Israel continues to defy international law to destroy and steal Palestinian homes, businesses and land in occupied Palestine with impunity.

Too many Israelis are content, perhaps even eager, to watch close up or from afar as more Palestinians in Gaza and beyond are jailed, maimed and killed. Too many Israelis have gone on whooping and cheering as Israel continues to defy international law to destroy and steal Palestinian homes, businesses and land in occupied Palestine with impunity.

There are, of course, enlightened Israelis who understand that Israel’s incessant jailing, maiming and killing of Palestinians and the systemic eradication and theft of their homes, businesses and land is illegal, wrong and a blatant affront to decency and any semblance of humanity.

In January, the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, found Israel has committed apartheid against Palestinians in occupied Palestine. Israel’s calculated, overarching intent is to impose “a regime of Jewish supremacy” through a decades-old, ingrained policy of “divide, separate and rule” enabled and enforced by a ruthless military occupation.

“One organizing principle lies at the base of a wide array of Israeli policies: advancing and perpetuating the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians,” B’Tselem wrote.

The solution? Enlightened Israelis must resist the apartheid ‘regime’ and dissolve the grinding, de-humanising machinery of state-sanctioned racism perpetrated in their name.

“All of us must first choose to say no to apartheid,” B’Tselem urged Israelis. “People created this regime and people can make it worse – or work to replace it… How can people fight injustice if it is unnamed? Apartheid is the organizing principle, yet recognizing this does not mean giving up. On the contrary: it is a call for change.”

B’Tselem is right. Israelis can, if they choose to, end the injustices and crimes of apartheid visited on Palestinians since Israel’s engineered inception in 1948. But, first, they have to acknowledge finally that the crimes and injustices experienced by generation after generation of Palestinians constitute apartheid as a matter of international law, and not a rhetorical cudgel.

Excerpted: ‘Enlightened Israelis must admit Israel is guilty as charged’

Aljazeera.com