What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Palestine? Part 4: International Organisations

A demolished Bedouin village in Area C of the West Bank; Israeli soldiers patrolling in Hebron (photos credits: me)

It’s a system of apartheid.

This is how Human Rights Watch has summarised its extensive report documenting how the Israeli government treats Palestinians living both inside of Israel and the Occupied Territories.

This is in fact the first time Human Rights Watch (HRW) has used ‘apartheid’ in its reporting.

The report, A Threshold Crossed, released on April 27, 2021, documents and summarises the policies of the Israeli government that, according to the definition of apartheid as stated in the UN Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), constitutes this crime.

In my a bit longer than usual episode, I aim to do the following:

  • present the definition of apartheid used by HRW (based on the above-mentioned documents),
  • summarise several points of HRW findings that I myself hadn’t mentioned in my previous episodes,
  • point to broader questions that we have to ask countries regarding what international organisations say about them.

Since I originally released this episode, two more prominent bodies – Amnesty International and The International Human Rights Clinic at Harward Law School – had the same conclusions in their reports on Israeli state policies.

Even before that, different organisations – for example, B’Tselem – have accused Israel of committing the crime of apartheid.


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