Sound controls

Ex-Israeli diplomat says growing recognition of apartheid ‘should be a wake-up call’

At the weekend, two former Israeli diplomats publicly criticized their government’s policy of apartheid against the Palestinians, with a former Oslo Accords negotiator calling the growing use of the word around the world a “wake-up call.” which should not be ignored.

“Now I see our soldiers doing what the South African police and military did in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Speaking on Thursday at a session of the United Nations Security Council examining the long-term impacts of maintaining the status quo in illegally occupied Palestine, former Oslo negotiator Daniel Levy, who now leads the United States Project United States/Middle East, said denying basic human rights to Palestinians “will never be a recipe for achieving lasting security.”

“We are aware of certain developments that can be both politically uncomfortable and politically salient,” he added. “The growing body of scholarly, legal and public opinion that has singled out Israel as perpetrating apartheid in the territories under its control is exactly such a development.”

“A designation made by Palestinian scholars and institutes, later reviewed and endorsed by the Israeli human rights community led by B’Tselem, has now become the legal designation made by Human Rights Watch and this year by Amnesty International. “said Levy.

Many Palestinians and individuals ranging from the late South African bishop and human rights activist Desmond Tutu to former US President Jimmy Carter to United Nations special rapporteurs have for decades called the policies and Israel’s actions in apartheid Palestine.

In recent years, an increasing number of politicians, local and regional governments, civil society organizations, religious groups, artists, academics, journalists and other people around the world speak out against the crime of Israeli apartheid. These include a growing number of Israelis and Jews outside Israel, including in the United States, where a 2021 Jewish Electoral Institute survey found that one in four American Jews believe that Israel is an apartheid state.

Noting that many African, Arab and other UN member states “have all referred to this apartheid situation”, Levy asserted that “it will not be surprising if this resonates and resonates in parts of the world who experienced apartheid and colonialism and left through decolonization.”

“It is a paradigm that will also highlight the discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel,” he added. “It must be a wake-up call.”

Levy wasn’t the only one to sound the alarm about Israeli apartheid this week. In an interview with Ben Lynfield published by More 61J Media On Friday, former Israeli diplomat Alon Liel – who served in South Africa under the Israeli-backed country’s apartheid regime – said Israel’s designation of six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations followed a familiar pattern.

“It brings me back to apartheid South Africa and I’m ashamed. These are my memories of South Africa, the pursuit of people in struggle,” added Liel, who last year joined a another former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Ilan Baruch, to condemn Israeli apartheid.

“I was among those who thought our alliance with apartheid was morally wrong, although financially beneficial, and I was among those diplomats who fought against it,” he continued. “Now I see our soldiers doing what the South African police and military did in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Liel added that “if there were governments recalling their ambassadors to Europe for consultations, Israel would behave differently. But nothing like that happens.”

“As long as the Europeans don’t take concrete diplomatic, security and economic measures, Israel doesn’t care,” he said. “He is very confident that this anti-human rights behavior will have no political cost on the international stage.”

The former diplomat added that Israel’s policies and actions will eventually have negative consequences.

“The demolition of houses, the transfer to Masafer Yatta, the arrests, the blockade [of Gaza], it all adds up,” he noted. “And then there are the killings. We have on average one Palestinian killed per day. Hundreds of people are killed every year, whether in an operation in Gaza or in routine operations and daily clashes.”

“This aggressive behavior, without any real threat or existential threat, will in the long term further affect Israel’s image, making it appear in public opinion as a trigger-happy country, a violent country and a country that doesn’t care. human rights record,” Liel predicted. “It will have certain long-term costs.”