Another report – this one from the UN – calls out Israel for practicing a “pitiless apartheid” – Canada remains mum again

The UN Human Rights Council has become the fourth significant organization in the last six months to accuse Israel of operating an “apartheid” regime with respect to Palestinians. UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk (a Canadian law professor) submitted his final report to the Council on Friday, March 25th. Read more...

Following in the footsteps of reports from B’tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, the UN Human Rights Council has just received a report from Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk accusing Israel of practicising “apartheid” in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

In a 19-page report Lynk said that the situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) has moved beyond occupation and annexation, and now amounts to the crime of apartheid.

“U.N. investigator accuses Israel of Apartheid, citing permanence of occuption”, noted the New York Times. The NYT article went on to note that “the claim is the first time that a U.N.-appointed rapporteur has accused Israel of apartheid in such an unequivocal way.” (NOTE: The NYT is in error. The first time was in 2017 when the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia accused Israel of practicing apartheid.)

US and Israeli media reported on the Rapporteur’s findings. So far nothing on CBC and no comment from Canadian government.

The report was also featured in the Israeli press including the Jerusalem Post, the Times of Israel and Ha’aretz. Lamentably two days after the report was made public, neither the CBC nor any other Canadian media had mentioned it.

This is Lynk’s final report as he will be finishing his 6 year mandate as Special Rapporteur at the end of April 2022. In over a dozen previous reports he has avoided endorsing the “apartheid” label, but did not hold back in his final assessment.

Limited to West Bank (including E. Jerusalem) and Gaza

The Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is limited to the West Bank, (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza. He is not authorized to investigate or report on the situation of Palestinian citizens of Israel or of the Palestinian refugees who are refused their right of return by Israel. (In its recent report, Amnesty International claimed that Israel practices a “system” of apartheid over the entire area it controls, from the river to the sea.) But the Special Rapporteur’s report is very clear and specific with respect to the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

Main conclusions

The Special Rapporteur has concluded that the political system in the occupied Palestinian territory endows one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, while intentionally subjecting another group to live under a permanent military (which) satisfies the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid,” notes Lynk specifiying three main reasons for this conclusion:

  • First, an institutionalized regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination has been established. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank live their lives under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits of the basis of national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over.
  • Second, this system of alien rule has been established with the intent to maintain the domination of one racial-national-ethnic group over another.
  • And third, the imposition of this system of institutionalized discrimination has been built upon the regular practice of inhuman(e) acts. Arbitrary and extra-judicial killings. Torture. The violent deaths of children. The denial of fundamental human rights. A fundamentally flawed military court system and the lack of criminal due process.

This is apartheid,” sums up Lynk. “With the eyes of the international community wide open, Israel has imposed upon Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world.”

DONT MISS THIS SPECIAL OFIP WEBINAR : Is the Jewish State of Israel a “liberal democracy”, an “apartheid state” or something else?

Thursday, April 21, 2022
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  1. Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute

    When an Arab country subjects Palestinians to actual apartheid measures, the international community is too busy lying about Israel’s alleged abuses to take notice.

    Various Lebanese governments have classified the Palestinians as “foreigners, refugees or stateless people,” even though they were born in Lebanon. Palestinians.

    Palestinians are not granted Lebanese citizenship

    Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are prohibited from acquiring real estate property rights… including through inheritance.

    According to UNRWA, 63% of Palestinians in Lebanon reside in 12 refugee camps that are overcrowded and affected by sub-standard infrastructure, sanitation and housing.

    1. Khaled,

      I was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon because Zionist militia expelled my family from their home in north Palestine in 1948 to create a “Jewish state”. My parents and I were not able to go back to our homeland. Israel prevented Palestinians from returning home because we are not Jews. My late father passed away in a refugee camp in Lebanon although he always desired to go back to the place he was born in.

      I appreciate your concern about Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Many Palestinians, including myself, are working actively against the discrimination of the Lebanese system which is totally wrong and unacceptable. This does not change the facts presented in the article that Israel maintains an apartheid system. Actually, the fact that Palestinian refugees can not go back to their homes because they have the “wrong religion” tells a lot about Israel and its system.

      I invite you and all people concerned about Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Gaza and other places across the region, to support their human and national right (article 13 in human rights declaration and UN resolution 194) and their effort to return to their homes. This would address the core root of your concern.

      1. It is not on a basis of belonging to another religion that keeps you from returning. It is because of the violent history against the Jewish population of Palestine and Israel since 1920 and to this day.

      2. Hey Yirmi, thanks for sharing your view. I am confused by your statement. As far as i know, it is ISRAELI LAW that distinguishes between Jews and non-Jews both inside Israel and for potential immigrants. Jews enter freely. But Palestinians, even those who have never lifted a finger against jews either in Israel or anywhere in the world are excluded. On the basis of religion.

        If people were to be excluded from entering Israel based on their “violent history against the jewish people”, would it not make more sense to ban Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Hungarians…. and many other Europeans, than Palestinians? The Holocaust was in Europe, not in the Middle East.

  2. Finally, it is a Canadian UN Special Rapporteur who calls a spade a spade. Michael Lynk, as a Canadian professor of law, and well qualified at many levels to make this call, hopefully will not be ignored or unheard by our government and press.

    1. Hello Mr. Sigman, thank you for reminding me (and us).

      You are right. Foreign Affairs Minister Dion did condemn Lynks nomination. IN fact, I did a post six years ago about how the Canadian government caved before the pressures of the Israel lobby at the time.

      Here it is:

      Israel and its Canadian defenders have opposed EVERY SINGLE NOMINATION for that post and have lobbied strongly to get them cancelled usually on spurious charges of anti-Semitism. I don’t think they have ever been successful.

      1. It appears that the UNHRC violated its rules every time it made the appointment. The Canadian government was at its moral best. Blaming “the Lobby” is just a touch antisemitic. The last three appointees were obsessed with Israel, a UN no-no for appointment to the post.

  3. Peter, interesting going back to your CTIP post 6 years ago when CIJA attacked the qualifications of Michael Lynk to be UN Special Rapporteur.

    The discussion in the comments section was lively. At the end of it you challenged David Roytenberg to a public debate or discussion about whether BDS was in fact anti-semitic, or whether the criticisms of Israel really amounted to “the new anti-semitism” as Mr. Cotler was contending.

    Did you two ever have that debate?

    1. Hey Doug, Sadly no Mr. Roytenberg never took up my offer.

      In my experience few Zionists are prepared to enter into a public discussion of their views. They seem to prefer to whisper to ministers behind closed doors or make pronouncements in their own media where nobody can challenge them.

      I think David Roytenberg is a decent fellow, but I think he senses that in open discussion his side would not do well. My offer remains open to him – and for that matter to anyone else who wants to argue that BDS is anti-Semitic. I think that is nonsense and its not hard to show.

      1. Hey Mister Sigman, thanks again.
        I disagree with Professor Lipstadt on this. I think anti-semitism is dangerous and it is important to discuss and debate with people who hold racist views. They need to be challenged on their racism.

        Of course I agree that some of the worst racists like David Duke won’t change their minds no matter what you or I say. But their views need to be challenged publicly.

        Anti-semitism won’t go away on its own.

  4. Mr. Sigman: First you define anti-Semite in an illogical way and then you judge and dismiss others based on your definition.

    Think about it. By your logic you are labelling a significant minority of Israeli Jewish citizens as anti-Semitic for disagreeing with their government’s ethnic policies.

    By the same logic, if you lived in Germany in 1940s, you would qualify an anti-Aryan racist for speaking against the ethnic policies of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

    Every person engaging in protest against a government’s ethnic-related policies qualifies as racist. How convenient for governments.

    Definitions can be fancy semantics and pure casuistry. Real progress comes from open minds in open debate.

    1. Doug, Your logic is flawed. I do not define antisemitism on this thread. Just disagreeing with an ethnics issue it not in itself antisemitic. The suggestion that it is seems duplicitous. It is like saying that Zionists claim all criticism of Israel is antisemitic. That is a straw man argument.

      Using Nazi Germany as an example is not credible.

      Open minds, yes. Empty minds, no.

      1. Jack, too often Zionists do just that – claim that criticism of Israel is antisemitic. Or that activism against certain policies and actions of the Israeli government is antisemitic.

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