The widely held assumption that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is a temporary situation and that the “peace process” will soon bring an end to Israeli abuses has obscured the reality of Israel’s entrenched discriminatory rule over Palestinians. A single authority, the Israeli government, rules primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size. It systematically privileges Jewish Israelis and represses Palestinians. This discrimination is more severe in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), made-up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Human Rights Watch’s new report titled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and evaluates if Israeli policies and practices in these areas amount to the crimes against humanity, of apartheid and persecution. The report draws on years of human rights documentation, case studies, a review of government planning documents, statements by officials, and other sources. Based on these extensive investigations, the report concludes that Israeli officials have committed the crimes against humanity, of apartheid and persecution. Human Rights Watch calls on Israel to end apartheid and persecution. It also enumerates actions the international community should take in order to achieve this end.
• What is the extent of Israel’s systematic oppression and institutional discrimination of Palestinians?
• What are the implications for the future of the peace process of recognizing Israel committing the Crime of Apartheid?
You can access the webinar flyer here.
Omar Shakir is Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch where he investigates human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Prior to his current role, he was a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on US counterterrorism policies, including legal representation of Guantanamo detainees. As the 2013-14 Arthur R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch, he investigated human rights violations in Egypt, including the Rab’a massacre, one of the largest killings of protesters in a single day. A former Fulbright Scholar in Syria, Omar holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he co-authored a report on the civilian consequences of US drone strikes in Pakistan as a part of the International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Affairs, and a BA in International Relations from Stanford. He speaks English and Arabic.
17 June 2021
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