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DECLARATION OF THE CRIME OF APARTHEID: ISRAEL

7 Jul

[PREFATORY NOTE: The Declaration on Apartheid below is an initiative initiated by the wellknown
Tunisian mathematician, Ahmed Abbes, and endorsed by scholars and artists worldwide. If impressed
please distribute widely as there is a campaign underway to reach 1,000 signatures.]

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
6 juillet |

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Over 700 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries have signed the following declaration calling for the dismantling of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants all its inhabitants equal rights and duties. The signatories include many distinguished figures, including the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, academics with legal expertise Monique Chemillier-Gendreau and Richard Falk, scholars Étienne Balibar, Hagit Borer, Ivar Ekeland, Suad Joseph, Jacques Rancière, Roshdi Rashed and Gayatri Spivak, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, composer Brian Eno, musician Roger Waters, author Ahdaf Soueif, economist and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Sir Richard Jolly, South African politician and veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils and Canadian peace activist and former national leader of the Green Party of Canada Joan Russow.

Declaration on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in Historic Palestine
Whereas :

1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity ;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people ; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law ;

3-The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, Adalah, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people rather than limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017] ;

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic ;

5- 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.

Considering :

i- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates in its first article that ’all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ And taking account that the inalienable right of self-determination is common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, and as such, a legal and ethical entitlement of all peoples.

ii- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which stipulates in Article I that ’apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.’ The States Parties to this Convention undertake in accordance with Article IV :
_ “(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime ;
_ “(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.”

The endorsers of this document :

A- Declare their categorical rejection of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and exiles wherever they might be in the world.

B- Call for the immediate dismantling of this apartheid regime and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants and implements on all the inhabitants of this land equal rights and duties, regardless of their racial, ethnic, and religious identities, or gender preferences, and which respects and enforces international law and human conventions, and in particular gives priority to the long deferred right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their towns and villages during the creation of the State of Israel, and subsequently.

C- Urge their governments to cease immediately their complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime, to join in the effort to call for the dismantling of apartheid structures and their replacement by an egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.

D- Call for the establishment of a National Commission of Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability to accompany the transition from apartheid Israel to a governing process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. In the interim, until such a process is underway, issue a call for the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation of Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Endorsed by 723 academics, artists and intellectuals on July 8, 2021 (click here for the full list), including

Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research in Paris, France
Sinan Antoon, New York University, United States
John Avery, Writer, Denmark
Bertrand Badie, Sciences Po Paris, France
Étienne Balibar, Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, United Kingdom
Anthony Barnett, Writer, United Kingdom
Edmond Baudoin, Auteur de bandes dessinées, France
George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law/Professor, musician, United States
Nicolas Boeglin, Professor of Public International Law, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Hagit Borer, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Council of Elders of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland
Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, United States
Anouar Brahem, Musician, Composer, Tunisia
Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, France
Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library, United Kingdom
Hafidha Chekir, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, Al Manar University, Tunis ; Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Tunisia
Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Professeure émérite de droit public et de sciences politiques, Université Paris-Diderot, France
David Comedi, National University of Tucumán and National Research Council, Argentina
Laurent Cugny, Professeur, Sorbonne Université, France
Eric David, Emeritus Professor of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Professeure émérite à l’Université de Paris, France
Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
Ivar Ekeland, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine, France
Brian Eno, Artist/Composer, United Kingdom
Adolfo Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980 (Nobel Peace Prize 1980), Argentina
Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
Emmanuel Farjoun, Emeritus Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Jan Fermon, Avocat. Secrétaire général Association Internationale des Juristes Démocrates, Belgium
Domenico Gallo, Chamber President in Supreme Court of Cassazione, Italy
Irene Gendzier, Prof Emeritus in the Dept Political Science, Boston University, United States
Catherine Goldstein, Director of Research, Paris, France
Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Sondra Hale, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, United States
Judith Herrin, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Présidente d’honneur de l’association EJE (Gaza), France
Shir Hever, Political Economist, Germany
Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Abdeen Jabara, Attorney, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, United States
Richard Jolly, Emeritus Fellow, IDS, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Davis, United States
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Ronnie Kasrils, Former government minister, South Africa
Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
Rima Khalaf, Former Executive Secretary of UN ESCWA, Jordan
Daniel Kupferstein, Film director, France
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
David Lloyd, University of California Riverside, United States
Brinton Lykes, Professor & Co-Director, Boston College Center for Human Rights & International Justice, United States
Moshé Machover, Mathematician, KCL, United Kingdom
Kate Macintosh, Architect, United Kingdom
Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate, Ireland
Dick Marty, Dr. Jur. Dr. H.c., former Chair of the Committee of Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland
Georg Meggle, Philosopher, Prof. em. at University of Leipzig, Germany
Jan Oberg, DrHc, peace and future researcher, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus professor, Sorbonne University, France
Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University ; Visiting Professor, The Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the center for Middle East Studies, Brown Universities, United States
Karine Parrot, Professeure de droit à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France
Ghislain Poissonnier, Magistrate, France
Susan Power, Head of Legal Research and Advocacy, Al-Haq, Palestine
Prabir Purkayastha, Editor, Newsclick.in, India
Jacques Rancière, Professeur émérite, Université Paris 8, France
Roshdi Rashed, CNRS/Université de Paris, France
Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London, United Kingdom
Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita Sociology University of Bradfor, United Kingdom
Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, United States
Alice Rothchild, MD, retired, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, United States
Joan Russow, Researcher, Global Compliance Research Project, Canada
Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Leila Shahid, Former Ambassador of Palestine, Palestine
Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker – Essayist, France
John Smith, Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London, United Kingdom
Nirit Sommerfeld, Singer, actress, writer, Germany
Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University, United States
Jonathan Steele, Author and journalist, United Kingdom
Annick Suzor-Weiner, Professor emeritus, Université Paris-Saclay, France
Salim Tamari, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Birzeit University, Palestine
Virginia Tilley, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States
Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Roger Waters, Musician, United Kingdom
Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, United Kingdom
John Womack jr, Harvard University, United States
* Institutional affiliations are given only for identification purposes

* The full list of signatories is available here.

* Academics, artists and intellectuals can endorse this declaration by completing this form.

* Version française ; versión en español ; versione italiana ; النسخة العربية

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DANS CETTE RUBRIQUE
Plus de 600 universitaires et artistes appellent au démantèlement du régime d’apartheid en Palestine historique
Signataires de la Déclaration sur l’élimination et la répression du crime d’apartheid en Palestine historique
Qui était Edward Said ? Une interprétation biographique, un souvenir existentiel
Communication Palestine contre Israel : étape relative à l’admissibilité franchie
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Jerusalem and Foreign Embassies: Legal, Political, and Diplomatic Implications

6 Jan

[Prefatory Note: What follows is a modified interview with Rodrigo Craveiro, CORREIO BRAZILIENSE, January, 2019]

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem and Foreign Embassies: Legal, Political, and Diplomatic Implications

 

Q1—A few days ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with president of Honduras and with Mike Pompeo in Brasilia to discuss establishing of an Israel embassy  in Tegucigalpa and the transfer of Hondurean embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pompeo then travelled to Colombia to try to convince the government in Bogota to relocate its embassy in Jerusalem. How do you interpret these efforts and their implications?

 

A: It seems obvious that Israel is trying to induce enough governments to move their embassy to Jerusalem so as to weaken the legal, political, and diplomatic weight of the General Assembly Resolution of 22 December 2017 [Res. ES-10/L.22] that declared such an initiative by the United States to be ‘null and void’ by a vote of 128-9 (with 35 abstentions), finding the proposed move unlawful and lacking any political effect. Such a one-sided pushback by the UN was undertaken as an angry reaction to the announced decision of the U.S. Government to make such a move in defiance of the international consensus that had for 50 years overwhelmingly supported the consensus of governments that the future of Jerusalem would be determined by diplomatic negotiations between the parties, and any premature recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be inappropriate and disruptive. This challenge to this UN consensus has definitely become a high priority for Israel’s foreign policy, at least so long as Netanyahu remains Prime Minister.

 

It may also be relevant that the upcoming Israeli elections on April 9th, and Netanyahu’s troubles at home with corruption charges directed at him and his wife, provide an added incentive to show that he has achieved positive results from the perspective of the Zionist Project to extend Israel’s national sovereignty to Jerusalem, as well as to most of the remaining portions of ‘the promised land’ supposedly belonging to Israel by biblical entitlement and historic tradition. Such Israeli expansionist ambitions and actions are encroachments on the inalienable right of self-determination belonging to the Palestinian people.

 

The U.S. motivations are related, but somewhat different. Of course, during the Trump presidency Israel can do no wrong, and what Israel wants, the U.S. does despite political opposition and moral opprobrium. The embassy move is a prime example of American unilateralism with respect to Jerusalem. Additionally, the U.S. Government wants to be less diplomatically isolated on a global level, and thus appear less disruptive when it so acts. This issue also provides the Trump leadership with an opportunity to create alternative alliance networks to outmaneuver the kind of regional groupings that have existed in the past. Independent of this issue, American foreign policy seeks to substitute a network of likeminded autocratic leaders for such traditional solidarities as NATO or the OAS, or for that matter, the UN. In this connection it is notable that such traditional American allies as Britain, France, Germany, and Japan voted for the UN resolution condemning the U.S. proposed action with respect to Jerusalem, and this reciprocated by acting independently of Washington’s strongly declared preferences.

 

 

 

Q2– What would be real symbolism of transfering embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Why such maneuvers are being considered so polemical? 

 

A: In my view, the real significance of the embassy move, aside from it being consistent with other steps viewed as displaying the extreme nature of Trump’s support for Israel’s approach to resolving decades of tension with the Palestinian people and their national movement, is to demonstrate that U.S. foreign policy will not be constrained by multilateral diplomacy or the positions prevailing in international institutions, and especially the UN. This ultra-nationalist approach to policymaking and problem solving is an overt rejection of cooperative approaches to difficult collective challenges in international relations that had previolusly enjoyed Washington’s support ever since the end of World War II.

 

On another level, the embassy move is supportive of Israel’s rejection of a political compromise with Palestine, and Tel Aviv’s current strategy that seems to hover between allowing the present unresolved future to go on indefinitely, while the settlements expand in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and taking advantage of its present position to achieve, or at least declare, an Israeli victory and Palestinian defeat. In this regard, the status of Jerusalem is part of a broader context of settlement expansion, excessive force in responding to Palestinian resistance, Knesset legislation in which Israel is proclaimed to be a state belonging exclusively to the Jewish people, who alone are entitled to national self-determination, and a denial of refugee status to descendants of Nakba refugees.

 

These moves are treated as so controversial because they are seen as imposing an ordeal without an end in sight upon the Palestinian people as a whole, including those languishing in refugee camps throughout the Middle East, in exile, and as a discriminated minority in Israel itself. Israel as an apartheid state cannot maintain such structures of racial domination without relying on these oppressive and discriminatory patterns of governance. In this regard Israel has moved in the eyes of the world from being ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ to being ‘the only apartheid state in the Middle East.’ Erasing this perception is part of what is at stake by such efforts to confer legitimacy on its territorial expansionism and its ethnic hegemony.