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Israel: Guilty of Apartheid

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While originally deployed to describe the system of segregation and institutionalised discrimination practised in South Africa from 1948–1994, the term ‘apartheid’ is now used to describe any system of dispossession, physical separation and systematic racist discrimination that aims to ensure the domination of one group of people over another.

The crime of Apartheid began to be enshrined in international law in the 1970s, as parts of the international community pushed for legal mechanisms with which to condemn the South African
regime. Apartheid is defined in international law as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” Further statutes have clarified apartheid as a crime against humanity, making its investigation and prosecution possible under the jurisdiction of International Criminal Court (ICC).

Therefore, apartheid describes a species of crimes under international criminal law. Significantly, this places responsibility on the rest of the international community to work to prevent, end and punish its practice.

This factsheet explores the racist, discriminatory regime Israel has established and maintained since its foundation. It looks at how it affects all parts of the Palestinian population. It also looks at how we can stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Israel: Guilty of Apartheid

Credit: Oren Ziv/Active Stills