International Law and the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Movement

International Law and the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Movement

International Law and the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Movement

The Unity Intifada of Might 2021 emphasised the centrality of Palestinian well-liked mobilization in the struggle from Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid regime. It is essential that discussions of an anti-apartheid motion in Palestine continue to be correct to the Unity Intifada’s decolonial praxis: to confront Zionism’s “racist settler colonialism in all of Palestine” and to problem Israel’s fragmentation of the Palestinian people today as a instrument of domination. 

This plan memo examines decolonization in the context of global law and increasing recognition of Israeli apartheid. It features suggestions for how Palestinians and allies ought to strategize an productive anti-apartheid movement as a result of legal avenues and posits that an anti-apartheid movement throughout colonized Palestine and in exile can assist Palestinians get back their political company and reassert their unity.

Strategizing Anti-Apartheid by means of Global Law 

Any efficient anti-apartheid movement in Palestine must be premised on the long-standing Palestinian rejection of Zionism as a racist and settler-colonial project. For a long time, Palestinians have been centering decolonization in their struggle for liberation. In truth, without the need of a eyesight for decolonization, students have warned that an anti-apartheid wrestle can, at best, attain a “restructuring” of the routine rather than its dismantlement.

Devoid of a eyesight for decolonization … an anti-apartheid wrestle can, at best, obtain a “restructuring” of the regime relatively than its dismantlement Click on To Tweet

On the other hand, latest human legal rights stories by global and Israeli teams mainly disregard the legacy of Palestinians’ decolonial battle. As a consequence, they advance liberal conceptions of equality at the price of strategizing decolonization via lawful avenues. And while worldwide regulation prohibits apartheid as racial discrimination, a crime towards humanity, and a really serious breach supplying rise to third-state obligation, it does not criminalize colonialism for every se.

While global legislation is constrained in its confrontation of colonialism, it continues to be a useful software that need to not be missed. Particularly, worldwide law prohibits important things of the Zionist settler-colonial job, which include populace transfer, apartheid, annexation, and the acquisition of territory by pressure it more enshrines the right of the Palestinian people to self-resolve and Palestinian refugees’ proper of return. A Palestinian anti-apartheid movement have to strategically deploy these lawful norms to confront Israel’s point out criminality and its violations of global law.

Palestinian civil modern society strategies have obtained a developing recognition of Israeli apartheid inside of the UN human legal rights process, including by member states of the Human Rights Council. On top of that, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has found that Israeli insurance policies concentrating on Palestinians throughout colonized Palestine violate the prohibition on racial segregation and apartheid, as submitted by a Palestinian-led civil modern society coalition.

On Might 27, 2021, from the backdrop of the Unity Intifada, the Human Rights Council established its very first at any time Fee of Inquiry into “all fundamental root causes” of Palestinian oppression, including “systematic discrimination and repression primarily based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.” This investigatory overall body is unparalleled in its mandate and scope it addresses all of colonized Palestine and constitutes one of the most important avenues for campaigning and advocacy versus Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid routine. The Commission of Inquiry is anticipated to submit its 1st report to the Human Rights Council in June 2022, and at present, welcomes submissions on the root causes of systematic discrimination throughout historic Palestine.

Moreover, the Global Felony Court (ICC) has jurisdiction around the crime of apartheid as aspect of its ongoing investigation into the circumstance in Palestine. The criminal offense of apartheid has under no circumstances been prosecuted internationally or at the domestic level. And whilst the ICC’s jurisdiction in Palestine is limited geographically and temporally, there is strategic benefit in pursuing accountability for Israel’s crime of apartheid at the ICC.

Even though well-liked mobilization by Palestinians across colonized Palestine and in exile will in the end be key to Palestinian liberation, global regulation can assist to progress this exertion by constructing external force and making tangible implications for Israel’s ongoing crimes. The apartheid framework provides an avenue for accountability and enables Palestinians to challenge Israel’s fragmentation and construct a united struggle. 


To strategize a Palestinian anti-apartheid movement and maintain Israeli perpetrators accountable for the criminal offense of apartheid towards the Palestinian individuals, Palestinians and allies should:

  • Assistance and expand civil culture campaigns contacting for efficient steps to counter Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid regime, such as via divestment and sanctions.
  • Urge the UN Standard Assembly to restore anti-apartheid mechanisms, particularly the Distinctive Committee from Apartheid, to address Israel’s crime of apartheid.
  • Expand the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine to contain the Palestinian men and women as a full, comprising human legal rights violations on both of those sides of the Green Line and against Palestinians in exile.
  • Go after Israeli perpetrators for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the ICC, including for the crimes of apartheid and population transfer.
  • Simply call on third states to activate universal jurisdiction mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators of the crime of apartheid in their courts. 
  • Demand that the most up-to-date UN Commission of Inquiry recognize Israeli apartheid and Zionist settler-colonialism as the root will cause of Palestinian oppression.