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'Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist settler colonialism' report launched by Al-Haq

Shawan Jabarin, the director of Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, gestures as he speaks at the organisation's offices, days after it was raided by Israeli forces, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 24, 2022 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Shawan Jabarin, the director of Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, gestures as he speaks at the organisation's offices, days after it was raided by Israeli forces, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 24, 2022 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

Palestinian Human Rights group, Al-Haq, yesterday, launched its inaugural coalition report exploring Israel's settler colonial and apartheid regime. Titled: "Israeli Apartheid: Tool of Zionist Settler Colonialism", the report, says Al-Haq, expands on the current international discourse on apartheid and, more importantly, examines apartheid as a structural element of furthering Zionist settler colonialism on both sides of the Green Line and against non-Jews.

The ground-breaking apartheid report is the product of four years of research and advocacy by a coalition of Palestinian human rights organisations. The groups include Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer), Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights (Al Mezan), Al-Quds University 'Community Action Centre' (CAC), the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ).

Building on the current apartheid discourse in which a wall-to- wall consensus has formed amongst the major human rights groups over Israel's practice of the crime of apartheid, Al-Haq's report is pushing for the recognition of the colonial practices of Israel, both past and present. Though a near international consensus is forming about the racist practice of Israel, Palestinian groups have been insisting for decades that the Occupation State is committing the crime of apartheid.

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Israel has been consistent in its use of settler colonial policies against the Palestinian people, says Al-Haq. It is, therefore, vital to "recognise the connection between the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and the wider, global movement of indigenous liberation against both colonialism and other associated forms of structural and institutionalised racism".

Al-Haq points out that, since 1948, Palestinians have endured an ongoing Nakba (catastrophe) of forced displacement, refugeehood and exile; the denial of their right to return to Palestine and an ongoing process of domination, foreign occupation, annexation, population transfer and settler colonisation. "It is within this frame of both historic and ongoing violations that Al-Haq analyses apartheid as a tool for the wider Zionist settler colonial project, rather than in isolation from contextual facts", the group said, referring to the scope of its report.

All aspects of Israel's institutionalised racist regime, including its formational history, before and during the start of the Nakba in 1948, are examined in detail. A key take-away is how any description of the situation in Palestine as a "conflict" between two sides ignores the reality of the situation. "The asymmetric power dynamic, the prolonged indefinite Occupation, the exploitive nature of this Occupation and the constant transfer and expulsion of population with complete disregard for international law, shows that Israel's policies are more than an apartheid regime, and amount to a colonial-settler policy in the 21st century," says Al-Haq.

An official launch of the report takes place today at Al-Qattan Foundation, Ramallah starting at 11:00 am, Palestine time.

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International perspectives on apartheid and decolonization in Palestine
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