By Gino Kenny TD
Recently a Human Rights Watch report titled – ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’ – provided a clear analysis that Israel’s entrenched discriminatory rule over Palestinians is a permanent and deliberate policy to be pursued in perpetuity. It is just the latest of a series of such reports and legal opinions, including from Israeli human rights organizations like B’Tselem and Yesh Din. It also stated that Israel is committing inhumane acts as identified under the Rome Statute of the ICC, these include, ‘forcible transfer’, ‘expropriation of landed property,’ ‘creation of separate reserves and ghettos’ and ‘, the denial of ‘the right to leave and to return to their country, and the right to a nationality.’ That’s just several sentences from an utterly damming report on apartheid Israel.
With this damning analysis, it would then seem incongruous that any state who upholds human rights and international law would any way treat the state who proponents such policies in any normal way. But that’s exactly how the state of Israel is treated by the international community. This past week alone the onslaught on Gaza has left over 200 people dead including up to 6o children. It does this with impunity.
The hollow words of the international community particularly EU leaders are an affront to the human rights of the Palestinian people. The EU and Israel have an enormous trade deal under the Mediterranean Pact which runs into tens of billions each year. The EU has never once ever envisaged to sanction apartheid Israel economically and hold them accountable for war crimes and flagrantly breaking international law.
Here in Ireland, there has been a constant call for Israel to be held to account. One of the ways that have been championed in Ireland is the implementation of the Occupied Territories Bill which would ban settlement goods from the occupied West Bank. Many people including People Before Profit would like to see the bill go much further and ban all Israeli goods. The Irish government must also immediately expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland. That’s a message of solidarity and defiance that will not only echo across Palestine, the Middle East but the entire world.