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.)
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.
“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.”
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