Israel votes for permanent occupation and apartheid - it must face international isolation
The far-right in Israel may have given prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu his election victory after he officially promised not to recognize any Palestinian state and his racist remarks on Palestinian citizens, but the victory margin of Likud and other extremist Zionist parties that deny basic Palestinian rights are further evidence of a decisive shift among Jewish-Israelis to the far-right camp, dropping any pretense of seeking a just peace, leading Palestinian civil society activists said today.
Israel’s final ditching of the so-called “peace process” sham should deny world governments any excuse for not imposing sanctions against Israel, starting with a long overdue military embargo.
The convincing victory of the so-called “national camp,” a coalition of settler movements, Likud and their fanatic right partners, is seen by most Palestinians as a strong vote for perpetual Israeli occupation, colonization and apartheid. It is also an opportunity to further isolate Israel, mainly through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as prosecution of Israeli war criminal at the International Criminal Court.
Mahmoud Nawajaa from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads the global BDS movement, said:
“The true face of the Israeli establishment has been revealed to the world. By rejecting Palestinian statehood and declaring he will not enter into any meaningful negotiations with Palestinians, Netanyahu has removed any excuse for governments not to impose sanctions on Israel and end their support for its colonial and apartheid regime.”
“This is a victory of apartheid and colonialism that should be met with sanctions against Israel by world governments and the UN.”
“European and other governments have consistently excused their lack of meaningful action to hold Israel to account by saying they did not want to damage prospects for a ‘two-state’ solution. How can governments defend their inaction now that Netanyahu has effectively buried the two-state solution?”
Nawajaa said that Netanyahu’s use of racism and incitement in the closing stages of the election campaign unmasked the Israeli establishment:
“Netanyahu race baiting and fear mongering among Jewish Israelis have revealed how deeply seated and prevalent racism has become in Israel. More than any previous Israeli leader, Netanyahu has clearly shown that he only represents Jewish Israelis, considering the indigenous Palestinian citizens an enemy that must be feared, hated and combated.”
“Today, we call once more on supporters of freedom and justice across the world to join us in intensifying our efforts to boycott Israel and to push governments to impose sanctions against Israeli apartheid, just as South African apartheid was isolated.”
Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian human rights activist and a co-founder of the BDS movement, added:
“Israel, a belligerent nuclear power that completely disregards international law and basic human rights, will soon have its most fanatical government ever, with grave consequences for Palestinians as well as for world peace. Israel has dropped the mask.”
“The UN and world governments must take part of the blame for this victory by the far right. They have failed to hold Israel accountable to international law by imposing sanctions on it as was done against apartheid South Africa. They rejected pressure from world public opinion to stop Israel’s latest massacre in the besieged Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 and its ongoing feverish colonization of the West Bank, especially in and around East Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley. They were apathetic when Israel adopted even more extreme, racist laws that have further entrenched its regime of legalized and institutionalized racism which meets the UN definition of apartheid.”
“The biggest losers in the Israeli election are the Israeli right parties that wear left masks, like Labor and Tzipi Livni’s party. Both are guilty of cementing the occupation, the settlements and the apartheid regime, and both are guilty of grave war crimes against the Palestinian people. While rejecting the basic right to equality for Palestinians, both have managed to maintain a false façade of ‘moderateness’ and even ‘left’ tendencies. The mask has fallen. There is a Zionist consensus, with no exceptions, against equality for Palestinians in Israel, against the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and homes from which they were ethnically cleansed, and against a real end to Israel’s unique system of occupation, colonization and apartheid.”