Amnesty International: Israel is an Apartheid State

Last Tuesday saw the publication of Amnesty Internationals report “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: A Cruel System of Domination and a Crime against Humanity“. Widely viewed as the most authoritative arbiter of what constitutes human rights violations,  with more than 2 million members and supporters world-wide and more than 200,000 in the UK, this is a major blow for Israel’s Apartheid system and its lobby in Europe and north America. Below is a brief YouTube video summarizing the report and a Facebook live feed of the press conference in East Jerusalem at which the report was released. 

This follows reports last year from both  and , Israel’s leading human rights organisation, which also unequivocally concluded Israel to be practicing apartheid against Palestinians.

This report comes after reports last year from the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem  and New York based human rights organisation Human Rights Watch, which also unequivocally concluded Israel to be practicing apartheid against Palestinians. Palestinians and people of former European Colonies have known this for decades. Israel was an apartheid state from its violent creation and the start of the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba in 1948. 

The 280 page report has taken over four years of research to compile, and is forensic in its approach. Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, states that:

Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights. We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. The international community has an obligation to act.

The Amnesty Internationals report recommends: 

  • All states should exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.
  • The International Criminal Court should consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigations.
  • UN Security Council should impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.
  • UN Security Council should impose targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes, against Israeli officials most implicated in the crime of apartheid.
  • An end to home demolitions and forced evictions.
  • Granting of equal rights to all Palestinians in Israel and the OPT.
  • Recognition of the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to homes where they or their families once lived.
  • Full reparations for victims of human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

The report point out that states that are party to the Apartheid Convention have an obligation to act.