Israel is an Apartheid State

israeli apartheid

The Indo-Palestine Solidarity Network (IPSN) is a network of like- minded people drawn from all parts of the country committed to justice and freedom for Palestine. It seeks an end to the racist-colonialist-apartheid politics of Israel. Over the last three years, IPSN has consistently been involved in creating awareness about the conditions of the Palestinian people and drawing people together in acts of solidarity with the Palestinian people. IPSN has also advocated with the Government of India against its close military ties with Israel arguing that by purchasing military hardware from Israel, it supports a brutal military-industrial-complex in Israel which enables it to oppress and subjugate the Palestinian people. A recent investigative report by The New York Times revealed that NSO Groups’ Pegasus was part of a $2 billion defence deal signed by the Prime Minister during his 2017 official visit to Israel. Israeli spyware technology is developed by being systematically used against Palestinians. Spyware trade is per se designed for repression, and Israel is at the centre of it because its colonial and apartheid regime deploys it against a subjugated people. In defence of the civil rights of Indian human rights activists, and in solidarity with the resisting Palestinian people, we demand that our public resources are not spent on surveillance technology bought from an apartheid regime.

IPSN notes that the Israeli government has adopted and practices a policy of separation the over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. IPSN follows the call of the UN independent human rights expert who has noted that “apartheid is being practiced by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory”. IPSN agrees with the contention of other human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and others who have analyzed the 55-year occupation of the Palestinian Territory. In different ways they have each underlined how, in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, there exists a deeply discriminatory dual legal and political system, that privileges the 700,000 Israeli Jewish settlers living in the 300 illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This was the assertion of the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory. His report points to the absence of the “rights of people living in the same vicinity, but separated by walls, checkpoints and roads”. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur has observed that “there are more than three million Palestinians living under an oppressive rule of institutional discrimination and without a path to a genuine Palestinian state that the world has long promised, which is their right”. This is also true of Gaza where two million Palestinians live in Gaza, described in what is referred to as an ‘open-air prison’, without adequate access to power, water or health, with a collapsing economy and with no ability to freely travel to the rest of Palestine or the outside world.

We affirm the internationally-understood legal definition of apartheid – a system of institutionalized racial segregation. Israel falls within the scope of this definition as a “political regime which so intentionally and clearly prioritizes fundamental political, legal and social rights to one group over another, within the same geographic unit on the basis of one’s racial-national-ethnic identity”. This is nothing short of a Crime against Humanity.

The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court  is a forward-looking legal instrument which prohibits apartheid as a crime against humanity today and into the future, wherever it may exist. In opposition to this definition Israel seeks to demographically foist a permanent, and illegal, Israeli sovereign claim over occupied territory, while confining Palestinians in smaller and more confined reserves of disconnected land, just as there were the Bantustans in South Africa under the apartheid regime there.

IPSN regards the multiple barbaric acts, arbitrary and extra-judicial killings, torture, the denial of fundamental rights, an abysmal child mortality rate, collective punishment, an abusive military court system, and home demolitions as signs of a cruel regime which holds human rights in disregard. Israel’s annexation of occupied territory is unlawful, its construction of hundreds of Jewish settlements is illegal, and its denial of Palestinian self-determination breaches international law.

Sadly, the international community has failed in its duty to create a united rejection of Israel’s apartheid.

IPSN commits itself to joining hands with other networks in India to oppose Israel’s apartheid policies and practices through several measures:

  1. Join the BDS-India Movement, INCACBI which is also a Platform for Indian solidarity with the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to be actively engaged in fighting against economic-academic-cultural collaboration with Israel.
  2. Bring Israeli apartheid to the notice of the Indian Human Rights community by engaging in comparative studies of discriminatory laws and practices in Israel which the Indian Government has duplicated. (The practices of the Indian government against Muslim and Christian minorities are virtually a copy-cat version of the way Israel discriminates and brutalizes Palestinians).
  3. Campaign against Indian collaboration with Israel’s military-industrial complex, noting especially that Israel is influencing the Indian government in its subjugation of the Kashmiri people by applying near-identical policies as Israel does on the Palestinian people.
  4. IPSN will continue its work with inter-faith platforms including Muslim collectives, Dalit and Adivasi groups and the Hindus for Human Rights through which it is able to highlight the Question of Palestine.
  5. To seek a working dialogue with the NCCI and Catholic institutions for a Christian response against apartheid in Israel.

Roger Gaikwad, President        

Sr. Lisa Peres, Executive Secretary          


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