Israel inflicts punitive actions to conceal its injustices

Opinion
Palestine Update  87

Israel inflicts punitive actions to conceal its injustices

Those who seek a just solution to the continuing Palestine-Israel conflict know there are viable solutions to every single issue that separates the sides. But a durable solution would necessarily have to be just in scope.  Every step Israel has pursued to cement and further the occupation has resulted in serious human rights violations, land theft, and displacement for the Palestinians. The Separation barrier is one such. A policy paper from Association for Civil Rights in Israel expresses hope “that the recognition that this will be the harsh outcome of the proposal will lead to its shelving, rather than it gaining new supporters”.

In much the same tone, a conference consisting of representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists, and activists, met in Brussels earlier this week in the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity, agreeing on a declaration that accuses Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank. The outcome was a “Brussels Declaration” which agreed on ten inter-linked stipulations which readers will find in one of our reports below.

With most of the news about Israel pointing to crimes against humanity, the Israeli government is presently working on a blacklist of the local and international organisations and activists who call for boycotting Israeli institutions, products and events, local media sources revealed yesterday. Israel has approved a law against activists who encourage the international boycott of Israel, under which they are likely to be sued or fined. The blacklist is “a database of the boycotting organisations, which can be prosecuted under the new law.” This is third in our reports for this edition.

Please read and widely disseminate.

Ranjan Solomon
Editor


Implications of establishing a separate local authority for the neighborhoods beyond the barrier in Jerusalem

The Separation Barrier in the Jerusalem area was established over a decade ago, along a route that diverged both from the municipal boundary of the city as determined in June 1967 and from the Green Line. The substantial discrepancies between the course of the barrier and the municipal and political borders – which were well-known to the planners of the barrier and to the government that approved it – have created a new reality of governmental vacuum, legal uncertainty, and planning chaos. These in turn have led to serious human rights violations and to deterioration in the condition of the neighborhoods and the enclaves that were detached from the city. This position paper, published by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), examines the proposal to remove the large Palestinian neighborhoods beyond the Barrier from the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Municipality, and to establish a new Israeli local council there.

The past 50 years have been characterized by the imposition of political, legal and territorial changes by the Israeli government on the Palestinian population subject to Israeli occupation and annexation. Human rights organizations that have worked through these changes have repeatedly emphasized the fact that every time Israel created a new sub-category and a distinct status for a segment of the Palestinian population, this led to a further exacerbation in the Palestinians’ rights and in the fragmentation they endure – geographical, family, political, legal etc. For the Palestinians, decisions such as buying a home, getting married or finding work are dramatically influenced by the actions taken by the Israeli government –a government they never elected.

The fragmentation and enfeeblement experienced by the Palestinian population that Israel chose to annex into its territory, and their daily dependence on the Israeli authorities, can only be expected to worsen if the proposal to establish a new local council is implemented.
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European conference declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’
Representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists, and activists, met in Brussels earlier this week in the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity, agreeing on a declaration that accuses Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank. According to a press release, the agreement was named the Brussels Declaration, and agreed on ten inter-linked stipulations:

  1. Israel’s policy of confiscating and Judaizing Palestinian land and building settlements over it have turned into an incubator for settler’s “terrorist organizations”.
  2. Political or security settlements are part of a colonial policy that has allowed Israel to grab over a large part of the West Bank – not less than 60 percent of its size. This policy has, in fact, established an Apartheid regime, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which determines that the settlements are a war crime.
  3. The continuation of the settlement activities terminates all chances for the two-state solution and rather solidifies the apartheid system as practiced by the occupation policy.
  4. The international community must assume its legal responsibilities by addressing these racist policies of the occupying Power and put serious pressure on it to respect the relevant international law. The European Union, which has extensive relations and a partnership agreement with the Israeli occupying state, should pressure Israel to shoulder its responsibility to bridge the gap between its words and actions in the context of Israeli settlement policy by activating Article 2 of the Partnership Agreement to pressure Israel to respect its obligations as the occupying power.
  5. EU countries must match their words with deeds, not just by issuing statements of denunciation and condemnation, rather adopting effective measures to hold Israel accountable by imposing a complete ban on all direct and indirect financial, economic, commercial and investment activities with Israeli settlements until it submits to international law.
  6. Settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories are a violation of international law and Governments of the EU must act in a manner that compels Israel to respect its obligations under Partnership Agreement and not permit settlers and their leaders to enter the EU countries and bring them to international justice as war criminals if they do.
  7. Peoples of the world and their peace-loving democratic forces must actively participate in the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to pressure Israel to comply with international law.
  8. There must be full support for the Palestinian initiative to refer constructing new settlements, expanding existing settlements and settlers’ violence against Palestinian to the International Criminal Court as war crimes.
  9. The rejection of Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid as pursued by the Israeli occupation state must be held up and commended at all levels. .
  10. A European committee must expose the ongoing violations of the occupation forces and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals until Israel complies with international law.

Israel sets up blacklist of boycott supporters
The Israeli government is currently preparing a blacklist of the local and international organisations and activists who call for boycotting Israeli institutions, products and events, local media sources revealed yesterday. The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation passed a law against activists who encourage the international boycott of Israel, under which they are likely to be sued or fined. The blacklist is “a database of the boycotting organisations, which can be prosecuted under the new law.” According to the amended law, “a body or person who encourages any sort of boycott of Israel or Israeli institutions simply for being Israeli is liable to be sued for 100,000 shekels [$28,280] without proof of damages, and for 500,000 shekels [$142,500] if tangible damage is proven to have been caused.”
The blacklist includes Amnesty International, which has called on its website, in international ads, and on its Facebook page for all countries to boycott products from the occupied West Bank, and to impose a weapons embargo on the Jewish state, claiming that Israel is guilty of war crimes and that the settlements constitute a war crime. The list also includes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign; the world’s most widely spread movement that calls for boycotting Israel.
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