South African Academic Study Finds That Israel Is Practicing Apartheid And Colonialism in Occupied Palestinian

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The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The HSRC commissioned an international team of  scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct the study. The resulting 300-page draft, titled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law, represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel’s practices in the OPT according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law.

Regarding colonialism, the team found that Israel’s policy and practices violate the prohibition on colonialism which the international community developed in the 1960s in response to the great decolonization struggles in Africa and Asia. Israel’s policy is demonstrably to fragment the West Bank and annex part of it permanently to Israel. Through these measures, Israel has denied the indigenous population the right to self-determination and indicated clear intention to assume sovereignty over portions of its land and natural resources.

Regarding apartheid, the team found that Israel’s laws and policies in the OPT fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Israeli law conveys privileges to Jewish settlers and disadvantages Palestinians in the same territory on the basis of their respective identities, which function in this case as racialized identities in the sense provided by international law.

Title: Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?

Source: Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa. HSRC Democracy & Governance  website (

May 2009 , Cape Town, South Africa

Editor: Virginia Tilley, Coordinator, Middle East Project, and Chief Research Specialist, Democracy & Governance Programme, Human Sciences Research Council

Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff

Diablo Valley College