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Israel reacted with typical feigned outrage at the United Nations report on war crimes and human rights violations committed by its forces in Gaza, last winter. The Jewish state's serial violations of international law are rooted in the barbarism of its governing principle, apartheid, which leads Israel to place itself “above the accepted norms of civilized behavior.”
Apartheid is the Root of Israel’s Aggressions
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“Underlying Israeli lawlessness is the concept of a settler state constructed for the benefit of one ethnic group.”
The State of Israel, by far the world champion violator of international law as interpreted by the United Nations, is once again raining vitriol and insult on the world body that gave it birth 61 years ago. Since almost the day that the U.N. recognized the Jewish state in 1948, Israel has placed itself above the accepted norms of civilized behavior. In its six decades of existence, Israel has violated virtually every United Nations declaration and flaunted countless tenets of international legality, most often with the diplomatic, economic and military protection of the United States. Israel’s arrogant disregard for the world body reached new heights with the release of a U.N. report urging Israel to conduct an “independent” investigation into “war crimes” and “serious violations” of human rights during its brutal attack on Gaza, last winter.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office claimed his government’s own investigation, which absolved Israel of crimes in the killing of 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children, was “a thousand times more serious” than that conducted by the U.N. Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, charged the U.N. with legitimizing “terrorist activity” and making “a mockery of history” by failing to recognize Israel’s right to “self-defense.” Other Israelis complained that the U.N. was making a case for “moral equivalency” between Israel and the Palestinian resistance.
“How can one make peace with a state that claims the right to adjust its borders according to its own whims?”
On that count, in a fiendishly perverse sense, Israel is right: there is no moral equivalency between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli occupation and aggression. Palestinians have every legal and moral right to resist being occupied on the West Bank and caged and quarantined in the world’s biggest jail in Gaza. Israel has no moral or legal ground to stand on – which is why it chooses to dismiss and vilify every organ of international legality centered on the United Nations. Israel is not even a recognizable state, having no borders that Israel itself recognizes.
The Israeli state behaves as if its borders are anywhere it may sometime in the future declare them to be. This borderless state constitutes a grave threat to every one of its immediate neighbors, and an insult to hundreds of years of evolving international law. How can one make peace with a state that claims the right to adjust its borders according to its own whims? This is an affront to humanity, yet it is the essence of Israeli foreign and domestic policy.
Underlying this essential Israeli lawlessness is the concept of a settler state constructed for the benefit of one ethnic group on land seized from other peoples. That is the definition of apartheid, and the root of all of Israel’s constant assaults on international law. It is a barbarism that must be rejected, boycotted and isolated – not just to relieve the suffering of Palestinians, but for the sake of human civilization.
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