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International community must act against Israeli apartheid, says ex-attorney general

February 11, 2022 at 1:17 pm

A woman holds a sign that reads “End Israeli Apartheid” during a vigil in solidarity with Palestinian calls for a general strike and day of action organized by Falastiniyat in Seattle, Washington on 18 May 2021. [JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images]

Michael Benyair, a former Israeli Attorney General and a former acting judge in the Israeli Supreme Court, has called on the international community to take meaningful steps to end Israel’s apartheid rule in Palestine.

Writing in the journal, Benyair said he has spent much of his career analysing the legal questions concerning Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

He said that during his tenure he approved the expropriation of private Palestinian land to build the infrastructure for the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories.

It is with great sadness that I must also conclude that my country has sunk to such political and moral depths that it is now an apartheid regime. It is time for the international community to recognise this reality as well.

READ: Amnesty labels Israel an apartheid state

He added: “Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, it is Israel that is permanently depriving millions of Palestinians of their civil and political rights. This is Israeli apartheid.”

In concluding his article Benyair described the situation on the ground in Palestine as “a moral abomination.”

“The delay by the international community in taking meaningful steps to hold Israel accountable for the apartheid regime it is perpetuating is unacceptable.”

Benyair’s remarks come less than two weeks after Amnesty International released a  report in which Israel is described as an apartheid state. Last year, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch came to the same conclusion, while a legal opinion issued by Yesh Din in 2020 also said that “the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank.”

READ: ‘Israel is an apartheid state’ say a quarter of US Jews