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At UN Hearing, South African Delegate Decries Israel as World's Last Functioning "Apartheid State"

At UN Hearing, South African Delegate Decries Israel as World's Last Functioning "Apartheid State"

Published on
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"We remain deeply concerned at the denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people," said delegate at a hearing in Geneva, "in the absence of which no other human right can be exercised or enjoyed."

A Palestinain looks through a gap between the blocks of Israel's controversial barrier that is still under construction January 9, 2004 in the Palestinian neighborhood of Abu Dis in the West Bank. (Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

During a United Nations hearing on its human rights record in Geneva on Tuesday, the Israeli government was accused of ongoing abuses and anti-democratic policies as it was called out as the world's last functioning "apartheid state" by a delegate from South Africa—a nation with a unique vantage from which to judge.

"Israel is the only state in the world that can be called an apartheid state," the South African delegate said to UN members during the Human Rights Council hearing at the Palais du Nations in Geneva. "We remain deeply concerned at the denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people, in the absence of which no other human right can be exercised or enjoyed."

South Africa says Israel is the only apartheid state in the world, in remarks made today at the UN in Geneva. https://t.co/Ere2Ih3NfX

— Ben White (@benabyad) January 23, 2018

According to Al-Jazeera, the delegate who made the remarks was "echoing the recommendations of several member states that called, above all, for an end of the 50-year-long occupation of Palestinian territory."

In its reporting, the Middle East Monitor cited a pair of tweets from Human Rights Watch staff, Omar Shakir and John Fisher, both of whom were monitoring the hearing:

#SouthAfrica at #UPR29: “#Israel is the only State in the world that can be described as an apartheid State”. Israel calls point of order, saying focus should be on human rights, not politics, fails to address SA’s rec that Israel respect Palestinian’s rt to self-determination

— John Fisher (@JohnFisher_hrw) January 23, 2018

Today in Geneva, UN conducts review of Israel’s rights record over last 5 yrs. @hrw did its own review, finding Israel carried out war crimes & that rights abuse & institutional discrimination against Palestinians systematic #UPR29 https://t.co/KFbidIJfVx

— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) January 23, 2018

While Israel continues to accuse the HRC of bias and denies responsibility for the crimes that correspond to the illegal occcupation of the Palestinian Territories, the independent review by Human Rights Watch found that the Israeli government continues a pattern of systemic human rights violations—many of which have recurred consistently over the past 50 years of the occupation and some that have intensified significantly in recent years.

According to HRW's review, those violations include: (1) unlawful killings and war crimes without accountability; (2) illegal settlements and institutional discrimination; (3) forced displacement; (4) prolonged closure of Gaza and unjustified movement restrictions in the West Bank; and (5) abusive detention.

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When one is indoctrinated with myths like “a people without a land, a land without a people,” it is but a small step to treating such “invisible” people as somehow less than human.

The bigotry and contempt borne of the Zionist narrative, just 70 years removed from the horrors of the Holocaust without a hint of irony or shame, is simply breathtaking to behold.

Like it was with apartheid South Africa, BDS is indeed the answer


What has and is happening to the Palestinian’s is an outrage of every sort imaginable but this claim by the SA delegate is not true. The American Native is the longest and will be the last apartheid state because they are so far off the radar no one can see them. That is how effective the systems in place are to reducing them to being invisible.


Thanks very much for the link to Ben Ehrenreich’s article.

Almost, but not quite, stunning that it was written nine years ago, when Netanyahu was the new P.M., and references the decades of abusive policies and practices of Zionist Israel.


And here in the US it was a people from a land across the oceans who looked upon other peoples land with greedy eyes and seeing it as empty of people much as the Zionists do. It was all about greed whether the invaders were wealthy–the wealthy can never be rich enough–or landless poor people from Europe. And to complicate matters, these folks did not even have a historic claim to the coveted lands. Even their so-called “Christianity” could not stop their greedy crimes. This is a nation of “wannabes”. The problem is the returning Jewish people returned as Europeans and with many of the worst prejudices they internalized and they did so after an absence of two thousand years.


Also, just checking to see if my local library has the novel, The Suitors, referenced at the end of that 2009 article, I found his 2016 non-fiction, The way to the spring : life and death in Palestine, which looks quite interesting.

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For all freedom fighters everywhere and a big thank you to South Africa.

Mandela has also stood with the First Nations here in the longest occupation of a people and an outspoken supporter of Leonard Peltier.


Israel is the last remaining Apartheid State, and the United States of America is their biggest enabler.


3 words: BDS. BDS. BDS.


Zionists, in attacking the BDS movement are attacking the same progressive community that is standing up to fascism now in the US, not unlike the progressive community in the 1930s that opposed fascism. The Third Reich targeted socialists and communists as much as Jews. Zionists wish to identify with some mythical past but in reality they are European settler colonists who have brought with them the arrogant and racist attitudes of European colonialism, along with an ideology that is disturbingly similar to German fascist mythology. How is it that Germans and other Europeans have escaped accountability, but the Palestinians have become scapegoats for the crimes of Europe?

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“A land without people for a people without land” was the slogan of Zionism in the 1920s. Of course there were people there already, but in the colonial European view of the non-white world, Palestinians were not really "people,” not in the European sense of the word. The horror is that this racist predatory attitude underlies the state of Israel and determines its policies.

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The two-state solution has never been a viable option. It exists to fill a void, so that nobody asks for the one-state solution. If majority rule was a good resolution for South Africa, why is not a good one for Palestine?


Your statement really says it all. How can a people which suffered such inhumane abuse turn around and inflict in on others?

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