[It may be that most war criminals do not talk much about war crimes and international law, for obvious reasons. But this is not true for imperialists, who, along with their dictatorial friends and Zionist allies, carry out the largest crimes against humanity, yet arrogantly claim the mantle of “humanitarian” wars and occupations “to spread democracy and justice.” The US and Israel do not submit to the authority of international law, or of the International Criminal Court, which they nevertheless invoke against defiant warlords, bullies, and petty criminals who refuse to serve imperial designs. In fact, the Iraqi regime, however much their roots were as puppets of the US occupation, were unwilling to further extend the immunity of US soldiers from prosecution for war crimes, under Iraqi law. And this was the reason for the withdrawal of US troops–and why the “democratic” claims of the US ring hollow, around the world. So, too, are the claims of Israel to be “the only democracy in the middle east”–far too many know the history of the removal of Palestinians from historic Palestine–ethnic cleansing–and of Israeli’s apartheid “double standard” toward Palestinians, to even consider that phony, arrogant, and racist claim. This article by Joe Catron in Ma’an breaks this down. — Frontlines ed.]
As Israeli Apartheid Week unfolds around the world, apologists for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people scramble to defend their chosen regime’s system of racism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation, against the charge of apartheid.
“The apartheid analogy is fatally flawed,” the Jerusalem Connection’s Shelley Neese writes. The David Project’s David Bernstein says, “The apartheid analogy is specious and absurd.” The Anti-Defamation League has even circulated an old report: “The Apartheid Analogy: Wrong for Israel.”
These commentators are right, but not for the reasons they claim. An apartheid ‘analogy’ is fatally flawed, specious, absurd, and wrong for Israel because apartheid is not an analogy, but a crime as well-defined in law as embezzlement or kidnapping.
The most relevant statute, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, perhaps muddies the waters by stating that “the term ‘the crime of apartheid’ … shall include similar practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa.”
But it goes on to define exactly what those and other “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” are.
Most will sound familiar to anyone who follows news from Palestine. The ban on “arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups” should bring to mind Hana Shalabi, Khader Adnan, and 307 other administrative detainees held indefinitely without charges, evidence, or trials. This is further to the 4,078 Palestinian political prisoners sentenced by military courts or facing the imminent prospect, all under occupation laws no Jew will ever face.
The prohibition of “measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country” could have been meant to describe discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. Continue reading