Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Parliamentary Council of Europe must recognise that Israel is an Apartheid state.
Speaking during the Free Debate section of the Human Rights Assembly, Senator Gavan explained in detail why Israel meets the legal definition of Apartheid.
Senator Gavan said:
“Israel operates a separate two tier legal and political system in East Jerusalem and the West Bank for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.
“700,000 Israeli Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem enjoy rights of Israeli citizenship-the right to vote, a European standard of living, Israeli Courts, Jewish only settlements.
“In contrast, 3 million stateless and rightless Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem live under military occupation, with separate roads, military zones, a per capita GDP one thirteenth of Israel’s economy, and the steady confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements.
“That is before we even mention the 2 million Palestinians living in the largest open air prison in the world in the occupied Gaza strip.”
Senator Gavan went on to commend Amnesty International for their recently published report on the same topic.
“Earlier this year Amnesty International became the latest NGO to recognise what so many of us already knew to be true – that Israel is an Apartheid State.
“It did so with an incredibly detailed and evidence based report. In doing so it joined 450 other NGO’s around the world in saying that Israel is practising Apartheid, including a number of very courageous Jewish Human Rights Groups such as B’tselem.
“These brave Jewish activists give the lie to the false charge that to say Israel is an Apartheid State is somehow anti-Semitic. It is nothing of the kind. It is only speaking the truth.
“When will the Council of Europe, and this assembly recognise that what is being practised by Israel is Apartheid, and call clearly for an end to Apartheid in occupied Palestine and the Israeli State itself?”