On April 2, the leading international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 213-page report, entitled “Doorman Crossed,” condemning Israel for “crimes of racism and crimes against humanity” in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
The report undoubtedly identifies Perona as a cornerstone for the rights group, which has long been a source of frustration for Palestinians and Palestinian rights activists, moving away from such clear and widespread criticism of Israel.
But the threshold that the report’s name clearly mentions is that in HRW’s analysis, Israel has finally gone beyond legal “Considering Israel’s half-century of occupation around the world as a temporary situation that will end the decades-long” peace process. ” A threshold and stability that meets the definitions of racist crime and persecution, ”said Kenneth Roth, HRW’s executive director.
Thus, according to the group, Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians have reached such a level that they can now be considered crimes against humanity – crimes committed by the international community will be considered the most serious, perhaps the most severe punishment warrants.
However, the naming of the Israeli colonial effort as a racist form is nothing new. The racist character has long been used as a feature of Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.
The Criminal Convention of 19 Cri3 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1969 defined racism as “inhumane behavior” controlled and institutionally involved by a racist group. Such laws include: “Arbitrary arrest and unlawful imprisonment of members of a caste group”; “Measures have been taken to divide the people along ethnic lines by creating separate reserves and ghettos for ethnic groups or group members”; “Forced transfer”; “Land acquisition”; And “denying them the right to leave and return to their country, [and] The right to a nationality. “These were part and parcel of the Israeli colonial settlement project in Palestine from the beginning. And UN diplomats, legal scholars and activists have applied racist ideas to Israel since at least the 1930s.
In 1975, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 33799, which declared Zionism to be a form of racism – which was later repealed due to Israeli pressure. Although Israel is not defined as a racist state, the resolution makes that association clear. It builds on the equations of Zionism with the resolutions of 19 Z3 in previous resolutions, including 19 including3 Resolution 1904 (XVIII), which confirms that “any doctrine of racial distinction or superiority is scientifically false, morally reprehensible, socially unjust and dangerous.” Resolution 33799 also drew a line between Israel and the “racist regimes of Zimbabwe and South Africa,” which were “biologically linked to their policies aimed at undermining human dignity and integrity.” Other UN debates during this period also recognized the “unity” of racist regimes in Israel, Zionism, and South Africa, as per Resolution 3151 of 1973.
After visiting the Holy Land in 2002, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, widely regarded as “South Africa’s moral conscience”, was reminded of what he saw in Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, an observation of “what happened to us blacks in South Africa.” He repeated from then on. Since 2005, student activists on campus around the world have been hosting educational events during “Israel Racist Week.” These events raise awareness of the Palestinian liberation struggle and highlight the similarities between Palestinian efforts and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. And in 2017, the UN agency Isqabla released a report on Israel’s racist behavior against the Palestinians.
Although the HRW report refers to some other application of the concept of racism to define Israel’s actions against the Palestinians, it emphasizes the presentation of “a detailed legal analysis based on the international crime of racism or torture.” More than the legal department, however, the idea of racism is a moral and political title and it makes it so competitive and powerful. In announcing their report, HRW acknowledged with the hashtag #Courage2FightApartideHide that this legal analysis is indeed political, perhaps indicating why it took so long for this group to publicly acknowledge a reality recognized by many around the world for decades.
It remains to be seen whether HRW’s decision to recognize Israel as a racist state will be a watershed moment in the decades-old Palestinian struggle and provocation of political change. Recent events – such as the February 5 decision of the International Criminal Court to support its territorial jurisdiction over the OPT, the Israeli NGO B’Salem’s January report identifying Israel as a “racist state” and fighting against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition. Symmetry – trying to silence Israeli criticism – has already suggested that a tipping point is approaching.
Indeed, as Jewish hegemony in Israel has become more pronounced in recent years, it has become harder to argue against classification as a racist state. How can Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continue to deny any rights organization, or anyone else, after Israel became a racist state, Israel is not the state of all its citizens … the state-state of Israel is a Jewish people and theirs alone ”?
How can they deny that Israel is committing crimes against racist humanity after the Israeli parliament passed the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law denying the rights of Israeli Palestinian citizens, who make up 20 percent of the country’s population?
The HRW report is undoubtedly a positive development and a step in the right direction. But the question we are facing today is whether Israel is a racist state. The question is, when will the international community work in concert to end the system that is clearly and unequivocally reprehensible?
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author and his editorial position on Al Jazeera.