The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian society, has warmly welcomed as a âhistoric breakthroughâ a report released today by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that proves beyond doubt that Israel has imposed a system of apartheid on the entire Palestinian people.
The ESCWA report calls for BDS measures to end Israelâs apartheid regime.
Warmly welcoming the ESCWA report as a âhistoric breakthrough,â Ingrid Jaradat, member of the BNC International Secretariat, added:
âThis is the first UN entity to prove beyond doubt that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian peopleâwhich confirms the BDS movementâs own findings since 2005. Given that apartheid is the second most serious crime against humanity in international law â after the crime of genocideâthis taboo-shattering finding by ESCWA will strengthen the case for global sanctions against Israel.â
The BDS movement has grown impressively in the last few years, compelling major corporations, including Veolia, Orange and G4S, to abandon the Israeli market, and convincing large pension funds to divest from banks and companies that are involved in Israelâs human rights violations. Israelâs academic and cultural isolation is also on the rise.
Guman Mussa, the Arab World Campaigns Coordinator with the BNC, added:
âESCWAâs report sets a precedent for the UN as it calls on national governments and international civil society to endorse BDS as the most effective mechanism to hold Israel to account. Acting to stop Israelâs apartheid is not an optional course of action but an obligation under international law.â
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, concluded:
âOur South Africa moment is nearing. This new UN report is a stark indicator that Israelâs apartheid is destined to end, as South Africaâs did. BDS is not only growing impressively on campuses, in churches, trade unions, cultural organizations and social movements, it is today adopted by a UN Commission. This may well be the very first beam of light that ushers the dawn of sanctions against Israelâs regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.â
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Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (firstname.lastname@example.org)