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Over 600 world academics, intellectuals call for end to ‘Israel's apartheid regime’

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)
Palestinians look for salvageable items amid the rubble of the six-story Kuhail building which was destroyed in an early morning Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on May 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

More than 600 scholars, artists, and intellectuals from over 45 countries across the world have lambasted the Israeli practices against Palestinians, calling for an immediate end to “Israel’s apartheid regime” in the occupied territories.

In a petition, organized by the Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine (AURDIP), the signatories called for a “democratic constitution” that ensures equal rights and an end to discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, or religion, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.

“Israel has established an apartheid regime over the entire territory of historic Palestine, directed against the entire Palestinian people, which it has deliberately fragmented," the signed petition reads.

“Israel no longer seeks to conceal the character of its apartheid regime, asserting Jewish supremacy and self-determination rights reserved for Jews throughout historic Palestine under the new Basic Law passed in 2018 by the Knesset,” it added.

The signatories also called for an immediate end to the “apartheid regime”, urging equal rights for all and the need to prioritize the “long-delayed right of return of Palestinian refugees driven from their towns and villages during and after the creation of” the Israeli regime.

Back in July 2018, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) adopted a controversial bill that declares the occupying entity as the so-called “nation-state of the Jewish people.”

The law prioritizes “Jewish” values over democratic ones in the occupied territories, declares Jerusalem al-Quds the “capital” of Israel, allows Jewish-only communities, sets Hebrew as the official language of Israel, and relegates Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.”

The AURDIP’s petition blamed “Western powers” for enabling Israel's violations against Palestinians.

“The Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically and even militarily,” the petition read.

The signatories also advocated the establishment of a “National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability”, which would support the transition from an “Israeli apartheid" to a regime sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. 

They underlined support for formal investigations, led by the International Criminal Court (ICC), into “Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.”

The signatories included former president of Médecins Sans Frontières Rony Brauman, former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Abdeen Jabaram, musician Roger Waters, Emeritus Professor of International Law at Princeton University Richard Falk, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire.


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