Wednesday, March 23, 2022

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

The "Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," Michael Lynk, is issuing a report that declares that Israel is guilty of apartheid, using the same circular logic that we have seen from other reports. 

He writes that since "Distinguished voices in recent years have concluded that these inexorable facts
amount to, or closely resemble, is incumbent upon the rest of us to test, through the tools of international law and human rights, whether these observations accurately reflect what is happening in the Palestinian territory. " Even though nothing has changed in Israeli law towards the territories in the nearly 30 years since Oslo besides giving Palestinian Arabs more independence, it is "incumbent" to find a new accusation to hurl against Israel whose conclusion is reached before the "test."

Predictably, the legal analysis that follows is a sham, ignoring the very proof texts when they disagree with the foregone conclusion that Israel is guilty of apartheid. 

As with the previous analyses by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School, the UNHRC's legal basis of determining that Israel is guilty of apartheid hinges on defining Palestinians as a separate "racial group" from Jews, using as proof the  International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination that expands the definition of "racial group" (not defined in the Apartheid Convention or the Rome Statute which are the only legal definitions of apartheid) to include "race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin." They purposefully exclude that the ICERD explicitly says, in the very next paragraph, "This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.

Anyone who uses the ICERD's definition of racial group to damn Israel with the apartheid libel is knowingly lying about what the ICERD actually says. Any clear-eyed analysis would show that Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs differs of that of Israeli Jews is precisely because they are not citizens of Israel, not because of national or ethnic origin. 

But let's pretend that this paragraph from the ICERD that thoroughly disproves the theory doesn't exist. Even without it, the twisting of facts and law leads to absurd conclusions.

The UN does not distinguish between Jerusalem, which Israel annexed, and other areas of Judea and Samaria gained in 1967 - all of them are equally "occupied." But in order to accuse Israel of apartheid in this report (unlike HRW and Amnesty,) it carefully excludes Jerusalem from its analysis so it can refer to "Jewish-only settlements" and therefore claim Israel treats Jews and Arabs differently based on national origin.

Back in 2014, Reuters reported
For decades, Israel has encouraged Jews to settle in East Jerusalem, changing the population balance, provoking Palestinian anger and drawing international condemnation.

But in one such settlement, around Mount Scopus where the Hebrew University is based and many Palestinians study, about 16 percent of residents are either Arab citizens of Israel or Palestinians, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

Like so much in the region, the ethnic mix is complex. Official figures from 2013 show 7.4 percent of French Hill residents are Arabs, and (some believe)  the true non-Jewish population is closer to 20 percent.

In the working-class areas of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Yaacov to the northeast of Jerusalem’s Old City, 1 to 2 percent of residents are now Israeli Arab or Palestinian, figures show.

Also, at least one "settlement" outside Jerusalem's municipal borders, Ariel, has 600 Arab residents, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. I'm unsure if they are counting the Arab university students there or permanent residents. 

If Israel is enforcing apartheid-like laws in favor of Jews against Arabs, then why does it allow Arabs to move to "Jewish-only" settlements? 

If you assume that the reason is because Israel has different laws for citizens, Jerusalem residents and non-citizens, regardless of whether they are Jews or Arabs or non-Arab gentiles, all of this makes sense and is consistent.

If you assume, as the UN does, that these distinctions are based on membership in a "racial group," then how can you explain the laws that mandate Israeli Arabs to have equal rights with Jews, and the laws that give Jerusalem Arab residents the full freedom of movement between all of the territories and Israel that even Israeli Jews do not have? 

If Israel is an apartheid state and distinguishes people based on national origin and not legal residency/citizenship status, then it should treat all members of the racial group the same. Which means that, according to the UN, Israeli Arabs and Arab residents of Jerusalem must be a completely different racial group than Palestinian Arabs!

This is why the paragraph excised from the ICERD by the UN and Harvard and HRW is such a big deal. Israeli laws do not distinguish between ethnic groups or races: they distinguish between citizens, legal residents and non-citizens, just as every other nation on the planet does. In order to accuse Israel of apartheid - clearly the intent of these analyses - facts and laws and portions of international conventions must be removed from the record. These groups must take a series of prisms (definition of apartheid, definition of racial group, the legal status of Israeli Arabs and Jerusalem residents, Israeli laws, and facts on the ground) and orient them in very specific and deliberate ways to perceive their foregone conclusion.

The legal distinction between citizens, residents and non-citizens is a much simpler and more consistent explanation for every example of discrimination given than pretending that this has anything to do with race.  The UN (and HRW and Amnesty) must jump through some really high hoops to avoid getting shredded by Occam's razor. 

To support this unsupportable structure, the UN report often resorts to incredible twisting of facts:
 Almost all East Jerusalemite Palestinians possess residency status as opposed to Israeli citizenship; while this entitles them to some Israeli social rights (including health insurance), this residency status could be cancelled if they leave Jerusalem for a period of time, a threat which Jewish Israelis do not face.

It is also not a threat that the thousands of Arab Israeli citizens in Jerusalem do not face, either. But the facts that prove the UN is lying about "apartheid" are not admissible in this kangaroo court.

The UN wants to turn a legal issue into a racial issue. This makes them the racists, not Israel.

There is one other interesting byproduct of the UNHRC and other analyses that was not intentional.

Arabs routinely claim that Jews only represent a religion and not a people or a nation, and that Jews are really from Poland or the US or Morocco.  

If, as the UN claims, Israel discriminates based on "national origin," and Palestinians have a distinct national origin, than means that the Jewish people who are from all over the world - including the Jews who lived under Ottoman rule along with Arabs of Palestine, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere - are a distinct nation with a distinct national origin! If we accept the UN's own assumption that Jews distinguish against those with a different national origin, that means that Jews from Arab countries have a different national origin than non-Jewish Arabs.

The UN's logic that is meant to take away Jewish national rights actually improbably strengthens the view that Jews have always been a distinct nation and as such deserve national rights.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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