Amnesty labels Isreal an 'apartheid state'

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Amnesty labels Isreal an 'apartheid state'

  • Amnesty International has labeled Israel an apartheid state in a report released today, making it the latest human rights group to charge Tel Aviv with imposing a system of racial segregation.
  • Titled ""Israel's Apartheid against Palestinians"" the 211-page report concludes that the occupation state has imposed a ""cruel system of domination"" and is committing ""crimes against humanity."


  • Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has pursued an explicit policy of establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony.
  • Amnesty, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, said Isreal is maximizing its control over land to benefit Jewish Israelis while minimizing the number of Palestinians and restricting their rights, and obstructing their ability to challenge this dispossession.
  • In its designation of Israel as an apartheid state, Amnesty went further than previous reports, which concluded that the occupation state is practicing a system of racial segregation but limited the practice as a feature of areas under its control.
  • Amnesty argues that almost all of Israel's civilian administration and military authorities are involved in the enforcement of the system of apartheid against Palestinians across Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as against Palestinian refugees and their descendants outside the territory.

Amnesty International

  • Amnesty International is a London-based Non-Governmental Organisation founded in 1961.
  • The organization aims to create a world where every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. It recognized fundamental human rights universally for the first time.
  • It also conducts research, generates action to prevent grave abuses of human rights, and demands justice for those whose rights have been violated.
  • The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its “Defence of human dignity against torture” and the United Nations Prize in the field of Human Rights in 1978.

What does the term Apartheid mean

  • Apartheid means a system of institutionalized racial segregation.
  • This segregation existed in South Africa and southwest Africa (Present-day Namibia) from 1948.
  • The term was characterized by the authoritarian political culture on the basis of white supremacy.
  • This culture of white supremacy ensured that the country was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the minority white population of the country.

Israel-West Bank issue

  • Israeli had started occupying the West Bank in the year 1967. This move by Israel was started during a six-day war that is still continuing.
  • However, Israel reminds about Balfour Declaration as a clarification of retaining the West Bank.

Balfour Declaration

  • The Balfour Declaration was a public statement made by the British Government during the first World War.
  • With this declaration, the British had extended its support to establish a national home for Jewish people in Palestine.
  • The ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict is considered to be the result of the Balfour Declaration.

Israel-Palestine Conflict

  • The Balfour declaration has made Palestine the national home of Jews.
  • This led to the initiation of the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs in the region.
  • The conflict between the two states further widened after the Palestine war during 1947-1949. * The conflict still continues following the military occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel in the year 1967 during a six-day war.

Two-state solution

  • Many world countries through the United Nations insist on a two-state solution to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • According to the Two-State solution, one would be a state of Jews and the other would be the state of Palestinian Arabs. The idea however is rejected by the Arabs.
  • The support for the two-state solution is based on the following reasoning.
  • That once the two states become a reality, Israel will stop severe violations of the Palestinian civil and human rights. However, it is not a “conflict” as such rather it is a settler-colonial reality that began in the late 19th century.
  • Late scholar, Patrick Wolfe, states that settler colonial movements are motivated by a logic called “the elimination of the native”.
  • Sometimes it may lead to genocide, as it happened in North America, sometimes it gets translated to an ongoing ethnic cleansing operation as unfolded in Palestine.
  • So, the two-state solution is not going to stop the ethnic cleansing instead, talking about it provides Israel international immunity to continue it.

Current Scenario

  • More than 83% of world countries have recognized Israel as a sovereign state. Recently, UAE, Sudan, and Bahrain normalized their ties with Israel.

Way forward

  • The only alternative is to decolonize historical Palestine. Further, build one single state for all its citizens all over the country.
  • It should be based on three things. First, is the dismantlement of colonialist institutions. Second, fair redistribution of the country’s natural resources. Third, compensation of the victims of the ethnic cleansing and allowing their repatriation.
  • This will be an inspiration for the rest of the region which desperately needs such models.