Press release – Set up committee to implement report on Israeli Apartheid
27th March 2017
Set up committee to implement report on Israeli Apartheid
Citizens International calls on the Malaysian government to set up a committee, including representatives of civil society, to assess how to follow up on and implement the recommendations of the report “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid”.
The report by Prof. Richard Falk and Prof. Virginia Tilley was commissioned by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).Both the authors are highly distinguished in the field of human rights and international relations and their competence in their areas of expertise, and integrity, are unimpeachable.
After a rigorous and thorough review of Israel’s laws and practices concerning the Palestinians, the authors have come to the conclusion that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. Apartheid ranks second, after genocide, in the hierarchy of criminality.
The prohibition of apartheid is considered jus cogens in international customary law. States have a separate and collective duty (a) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful; (b) not to aid or assist a State in maintaining an apartheid regime; and (c) to cooperate with the United Nations and other States in bringing apartheid regimes to an end.
A State that fails to fulfil those duties could itself be held legally responsible for engaging in wrongful acts involving complicity with maintaining an apartheid regime. The United Nations and its agencies, and all Member States, have a legal obligation to act within their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention.
In the light of these findings, we urge our government to:
- Issue a statement supporting the findings and recommendations of the report.
- Call for a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the report and to formulate a plan of action to implement it.
- Move the United Nations General Assembly to:
- Revive the Special Committee against Apartheid, and the United Nations Centre against Apartheid (1976-1991), which would report authoritatively on Israeli practices and policies relating to the crime of apartheid.
- Seek an advisory opinion from the ICJ as to whether the means used by Israel to maintain control over the Palestinian people amount to the crime of apartheid and, if so, what steps should be taken to end that situation promptly.
- Call on the International Criminal Court to investigate, as a matter of
urgency, whether the State of Israel, its Governments and individuals,
in implementing policies and practices with respect to the Palestinian
people, are guilty of the crime of apartheid.
- Support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
campaign initiated by Palestinian civil society organisations.
- Remind the private sector actors of their legal, moral and political responsibility to sever ties with commercial ventures and projects that directly or indirectly aid and abet the apartheid regime.
S.M. Mohamed Idris
Chairman, Citizens International