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Anti-Israel BDS says Israeli treatment of Palestinians amounts to apartheid

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Israeli soldiers.

The international anti-Israel movement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) says the Israeli regime’s treatment of Palestinians amounts to “apartheid.”

In a post on its official Twitter account, the BDS censured Tel Aviv’s “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination,” referring to a definition of apartheid under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The anti-Israel movement also said the United Nations investigated apartheid in South Africa and ultimately imposed sanctions on its ruling regime. It was past time for the UN, it said, to do the same with “apartheid Israel.”

The BDS pointed to some facts from the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), a pro-Palestinian nonprofit organization, to demonstrate the extent to which practices of Israel amount to that institutionalized regime of oppression.

Under Israel’s laws, the right to self-determination in the “the land of Israel” is “unique to the Jewish people” and non-Jews, and particularly Palestinians, do not enjoy this same right, IMEU says.

The pro-Palestinian organization further notes that:

-    Israel surveils Palestinians wherever they live, and subjects them to violence when protesting or engaging in various activities that are protected when committed by Jews;

-    More than 65 laws in Israel discriminate against Palestinians. For example, Jewish towns may legally deny residency to Palestinians;

-    Palestinian Refugees expelled when Israel was created are forcibly denied their right to return. Thousands have been shot trying to return to their homes. Any Jew around the world can become an Israeli citizen;

-    Palestinians in the West Bank live under harsh Israeli military rule, in which they have no voice, while Jewish settlers there live under civilian law, passed by Israel’s Parliament;

-    While Israelis, including settlers, whisk freely through the west bank on modern highways, Palestinians are forced onto decrepit roads, where their freedom of movement is tightly restricted via hundreds of checkpoints;

-    Israel’s 13-year siege on the Gaza Strip has effectively created the world’s largest open-air prison and has further devastated it with repeated military assaults that have killed thousands of civilians. The UN warned the strip would be “unlivable” by 2020.

The BDS movement, which is modeled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have since then joined the BDS movement, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural, and academic ties to Tel Aviv, to help promote the Palestinian cause.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip – the territories the Palestinians want for their future state – in 1967. Currently, about 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.


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