DEMOCRACY: A SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT WHERE THE CITIZENS EXCERCISE POWER BY VOTING
APARTHEID: A POLICY OR SYSTEM OF SEGREGATION OR DISCRIMINATION ON GROUNDS OF RACE.
Benjamin Netanyahu stated this week: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and them alone”. By definition this excludes Palestinians. This controversial law passed last summer declared Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people, stipulating that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.
Millions of Palestinians expelled from their homes in the 1948 Nakba are prevented from returning. Palestinians living in the annexed portions of the West Bank do not have Israeli citizenship or voting rights in Israel and are subject to movement restrictions by the Israeli government. For 52 years, millions of Palestinians have been subjected to a military regime which has facilitated the establishment of illegal settlements colonised by Israeli citizens able to vote creating resulting in the dispossession and inequality of Palestinians, perpetrated through land control, immigration and resource distribution. Israeli settlements create separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens and Palestinians are subject to military checkpoints. Basic human rights are eroded on a daily basis, Hebrew is now the only official language with the Arabic language downgraded from an official language to a language with “special status”.
Nadim Rouhana, a ‘conflict studies’ scholar wrote: “there are few honest observers in Israel who dispute that a Jewish state, by definition, privileges one group of citizens over another”. As Prime Minister Netanyahu, leader of the most right wing government in Israeli history, seeks a fifth term of office it was announced that he will be indicted on charges of bribery and breach of trust charges arising from three separate corruption charges.He denies all charges.
AN APARTHEID STATE?
The institutionalised racial, political and economic discrimination which formerly oppressed the non white population of South Africa, is now upheld in Israel and condoned by the United Nations whose members fail to protect the indigenous Palestinian people.
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT THE UN DIRECTIVE (17 December 1981), OPPOSING APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA, MIGHT APPLY TO PALESTINIANS IN ISRAEL?
The United Nations General Assembly (17 December 1981)
Policies of apartheid of the Government of South Africa
The UN acknowledged “apartheid is a crime against humanity and a threat to international peace and security“ “…..apartheid cannot be reformed but must be totally eliminated”
- (The Directive) Reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to the total eradication of apartheid and the establishment of a democratic society in which all the people of South Africa as a whole, irrespective of race, colour, sex or creed, will enjoy equal and full human rights and fundamental freedoms and participate freely in the determination of their destiny.
- Convinced that it is incumbent on the international community to provide all necessary assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement in their legitimate struggle for the establishment of a democratic society in accordance with their inalienable rights, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
- Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement, by all available means including armed struggle, for the seizure of power by the people, the elimination of the apartheid regime and the exercise of the right of self-determination by the people of South Africa as a whole,
- Denouncing the policy of “bantustanization” designed to deprive the African majority of citizenship and to further dispossess it of its inalienable rights, as well as the continuing forced removals of millions of black people, as an international crime,
- Reaffirming that freedom fighters of South Africa are entitled to prisoner-of-war status under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949,
- Concerned that some Western countries and Israel continue to provide military supplies to South Africa, directly and indirectly, in gross violation of the provisions of Security Council resolution 418 (1977) of 4 November 1977, forbidding the supply of arms and all related materiel to the apartheid regime.
As the world waits for a Nelson Mandela the Palestinians continue to be dispossessed and dehumanised.