Monday, March 20, 2017

UN ESCWA Report on Israel Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

Excerpt from the Executive Summary

I may be prepared to scan the entire document in at some time in the future but since the United Nations (under pressure from the Trump Administration) has deleted the Report of the UN ESCWA which found that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, I wanted to immediately print the first and last paragraph of the Executive Summary, also deleted from the UN website. When you follow the links to both of them on the UN website, you get the message PAGE NOT FOUND.

This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.

The report concludes that the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity, the prohibition of which is considered jus cogens (note - peremptory principles or norms from which no derogation is permitted). The international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies, and Member States, have a legal obligation to act within the limits of their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention. More specifically, states have a collective duty: (a) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful; (b) not to aid or assist a State in maintaining an apartheid regime; and (c) to cooperate with the United Nations and other States in bringing apartheid regimes to an end. Civil society institutions and individuals also have a moral and political duty to use the instruments at their disposal to raise awareness of this ongoing criminal enterprise, and to exert pressure on Israel in order to persuade it to dismantle apartheid structures in compliance with international law  The report ends with general and specific recommendations to the United Nations, national Governments and civil society and private actors on actions they should take in view of the finding that Israel maintains a regime of apartheid in its exercise of control over the Palestinian people.

The entire report can be found here. One of the recommendations for National Governments of Member States in the full report is:
National Governments should support boycott, divestment and sanctions activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives.  

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