“It’s time to face up to the reality of the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people.”Zarah Sultana MP
By a Labour Outlook volunteer
Amnesty International have this week released a report arguing that “Israeli authorities must be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians.”
Left MPs, Palestine solidarity campaigners and others have responded to the report by arguing that it reinforces the importance of the motion in solidarity with Palestine passed at Labour Conference last year and why we must continue to speak up for Palestine.
Zarah Sultana MP said the report “must be a wake-up call for leaders across Britain, Europe, and the United States” and that “it’s time to face up to the reality of the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people.”
And Beth Winter MP wrote that “Today, Amnesty became the latest human rights organisation to conclude that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians constitutes apartheid under international law,” and added that “I welcome the report shedding light on the scale of human rights abuses Palestinians face.”
Echoing the calls of the global Palestine solidarity movements, Andy McDonald MP added that “Just as with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, it is through boycott, divestment & sanctions that justice will prevail.”
The comprehensive report, Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity, sets out how “massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law,” arguing that “this system is maintained by violations which Amnesty International found to constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.”
Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said to coincide with the launch of the report that “We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid,” and added that “the international community has an obligation to act.”
Speaking to Labour Outlook in response to the report, Hugh Lanning of Labour & Palestine said, “This is a very welcome report from Amnesty reinforcing the growing number of organisations and bodies recognising that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid.
It is time for the UN to investigate officially and the international community to recognise the reality the Palestinians face – not because of history or religion, but because the Israeli state chooses to operate a racist and discriminatory system in the land it controls and occupies between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. End the occupation, give Palestinians back their stolen land.”
Mish Ramhan, member of Labour’s National Executive Committee stated that “this is a shocking report but not dissimilar to what Palestinians themselves as well as B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have also been saying. There are crimes being committed against Palestinians living under occupation and this cannot be allowed to continue.
Just as with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Britain and the Labour Party has an obligation to support victims of oppression and to help bring an end to Apartheid.”