Writing for AlJazeera Richard Falk comments on the verdict of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which has found Israel guilty of the crime of Apartheid:
The most controversial, and at the same time far reaching feature, of the RToP finding was to conclude that Israeli responsibility for establishing an apartheid regime applied not only to Palestinians living under occupation, but also to the Palestinians minority living with discriminatory regulations in Israel and to the Palestinian diaspora consisting of 4-5 million refugees and exiles.
The RToP divides its rationale for finding guilty of committing the crime of apartheid into three main parts: (1) race as defining identity in Israel/Palestine relations (tribunal agrees that race in the international definition of the crime should be interpreted broadly to include ethnic and national character); (2) inhuman acts (specified in relation to Israeli treatment of Palestinians, as integral to the crime, particularly “colonisation and appropriation of Palestinian land” and coercive fragmentation of the Palestinian community in “different physical spaces”; (3) a systematic and institutionalised regime as pervading the subjugation of the Palestinian people (preferential treatment of Jews, dual legal arrangements, restrictions on residence and mobility, deportations and house demolitions are elements in what the tribunal calls “Israel’s institutionalised regime of domination”. [See Victor Kattan's excellent detailed analysis of the RToP finding of apartheid in his "The Russell Tribunal on Palestine and the Question of Apartheid", al-shabaka brief, November 23, 2011].
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On the New Internationalist blog Frank Barat, co-editor of Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation: Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, responds to the Tribunal’s critics:
Our intention has never been to find out if Israel was guilty or not, nor to start a debate about it. This work has already been done by UN bodies, human rights organizations, aid organizations and countless violated Security Council resolutions. Israel since its creation has violated hundreds of UN resolutions and has never respected its obligation, as a member of the UN, under International Law.
Our work started where the international community’s has stopped. The international community is complicit in what is taking place in Palestine either directly or indirectly, passively or actively and it is our duty, as citizens of those states, to call them to account and say ‘Not in my name’. It is our duty to stand with the oppressed in its quest for justice.
Our work started because so-called ‘negotiations’, ‘peace talks’ or ‘constructive dialogue’ were doomed from the start, based as they were on false premises. They entertained the idea of two equal sides fighting for their rights when, in reality, a most powerful occupier dictated its wishes to a powerless people. How else can you explain that since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 the numbers of settlers and settlements has gone through the roof (more than 500,000 now live on land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories)?
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, by using international law as its basis, proposes a no-nonsense way forward. The law is on the side of the Palestinians, so let’s make good use of it. The Tribunal intends to assist the people working on a just peace for all with the legal means they have crucially been lacking for too long.
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Writing on Electronic Intifada, David Cronin “strongly recommends” Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation:
Since its inception in 2009, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine has meticulously documented the horrors of the present (and recent past). Edited by The Electronic Intifada contributors Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat, Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation is a transcript of the tribunal’s November 2010 session in London. It is also required reading to understand how some enterprises are accomplices to murder. And I mean that literally.
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Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine
Edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat. Foreword by Alice Walker
Damning exposé of corporate complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. A vital legal resource on this pressing issue.
“As we prepare for the South African session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, this book is an important, practical tool in the non-violent struggle against apartheid in the Holy Land.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
“A compelling and urgent read for anyone concerned about corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” – Omar Bargouti, co-founder of the Palestinian Civil Society BDS Movement
Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy
Ben White. Foreword by Haneen Zoabi
Argues that Israel’s insistence on declaring itself a Jewish state leads to discrimination, segregation and a guarantee of continued conflict.
“This book debunks convincingly and forcefully the myth of Israel being ‘the only democracy’ in the Middle East. As this book shows, the treatment of the Palestinians in Israel is the ultimate proof that the Jewish State is anything but democratic.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and Out of the Frame
“Essential reading to understand why there can never be peace unless Palestinian citizens of Israel are granted full equality, something they are systematically denied by Israel’s aggressive, and increasingly unrestrained Zionist ethnocracy.” – Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of Electronic Intifada, author of One Country
A Beginner’s Guide
Indispensable introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, examining the current structures of Israeli domination.
“A very strong and clear voice that does not shun from exposing in full, and in a most accessible manner, the essence of Zionism and Israeli policies in Palestine. In a world confused by competing narratives, disinformation and fabrication, this book is an excellent guide for understanding the magnitude of the crimes committed against the Palestinians and the nature of their present suffering and oppression.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, Israeli historian and author of ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ (2007)
“This book deals rationally and cogently with a topic that almost always generates considerable heat even just with book titles. The reader may not agree with everything that White asserts but it is a highly commendable effort to throw light on a fraught subject.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Aiding the Occupation
Shows that the EU’s close relationship with Israel has legitimised actions such as the ill-treatment of prisoners and the Gaza invasion.
“It seems to many that Israel is above international law. This important book explores the complex political ties that have prevented European countries from holding Israel to account. It is essential reading for all who care about justice and the rule of law. I hope David Cronin is prepared for the abuse he and his book will incur. All the more reason to buy it, read it and take the discussion forward.” – Ken Loach