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Wednesday, 12 May 2021
10am PT, 1pm ET (US, Canada) / 5pm UTC / 8pm Palestine

The world is waking up - or being forced awake - to the reality of Israeli apartheid. We have seen two bombshell reports in 2021 declaring Israel to be an apartheid state, committing this crime against humanity both inside Israel itself and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The sources of these charges make them even more stunning.
First, in January, Israel’s distinguished human rights center B'Tselem, respected for its carefully documented reporting, published a scathing indictment of their own government: β€œA regime of Jewish supremacy form the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea."

Then in April, the Nobel-Prize-winning rights defenders at Human Rights Watch published their bombshell report that was two years in the making:
Want a brief overview of the report? See the Human Rights Watch video: "A Threshold Crossed" (3 mins). Watch it here

Due to HRW's stature in the U.S. and worldwide, their charge of Israeli apartheid has generated a firestorm of response.  See News & Commentary about the HRW report below.

On May 12th, PHYLLIS BENNIS, an eminent political analyst and author with extensive expertise in the Middle East, and PHILIP FARAH, a lifelong Palestinian rights activist, national organizer and speaker, will discuss the substance and the implications of these apartheid charges and what they could mean for the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom.


Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies and the Director of their New Internationalism Project, focusing on the Middle East, U.S. wars, and United Nations issues. In 2001 she helped found the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition. She serves now on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace and works with many anti-war and Palestinian rights organizations, writing and speaking widely across the U.S. and around the world.
    She has served as an adviser to UN officials on Middle East issues and was twice short-listed to become the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
    Bennis has written and edited eleven books, including her very popular primer, now in its 7th edition: Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. She has also written Before & After: US Foreign Policy and Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power.


Philip Farah is a co-founder of Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP) and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. Farah has written frequently and addressed audiences across the United States on Israel/Palestine and the region. Born and raised in East Jerusalem, Philip has also lived and worked in several other countries in the Middle East. He works now in the Washington DC metro area as an natural resources economist. He is a leading organizer in the U.S. movement for Palestinian human rights, in particular in ecumenical and interfaith coalitions and campaigns. Over the last decade, Philip has been a valued keynote speaker at several United Methodist justice events.

Join us for this timely discussion on the most hotly debated
(and formerly taboo) subject regarding Israel/Palestine:

the "A" word.


Please share our posts for this webinar β¬‡οΈŽ


Visualizing Apartheid
The remarkable folks at Visualizing Palestine have made a series of infographics that complement the Human Rights Watch report.
Explore them here:

News & Commentary
A Major Rights Group Says Israel Is Guilty of Apartheid. It Might Fracture the Status Quo in Washington | Time Magazine
On Tuesday, the U.S.-based rights organisation, Human Rights Watch (HRW), accused Israel of two crimes against humanity: the crime of apartheid, and the crime of persecution. Other organisations, including Israeli ones, have previously made similar claims; but it is the first time that such designations have been made by an international organisation of this stature.
    Moreover, the designations declared that elements of the crimes were applicable not simply in the occupied Palestinians territories but within the internationally recognized borders of
Israel itself. The assessment was predictably met with ferocious indignation among supporters of Israel in Washington D.C.; but mostly from the right-wing of American politics
and not the left.  Read more

Rights Group Hits Israel With Explosive Charge: Apartheid | New York Times
Human Rights Watch is the latest watchdog to accuse Israel of perpetuating a version of the racist legal system that once governed South Africa. Israel says the charge is baseless.
When hundreds of rights groups gathering in South Africa in 2001 accused Israel of apartheid, some participants distanced themselves from the accusation. It was β€œwrong to equate Zionism with racism,” a senior Human Rights Watch representative, Reed Brody, said at the time.
    But two decades later, a small but growing number of Israeli and international watchdogs have come to a conclusion that many Palestinians reached long ago: that Israel is perpetrating a form of apartheid, the racist legal system that governed South Africa until the early 1990s. Read more

Human Rights Watch: Israel Is An Apartheid State | The Nation
The report implicitly endorses the aims of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, by arguing at minimum for companies to cease activities that contribute to
the crime of apartheid in Israel and for states to issue sanctions, travel bans, and asset freezes against Israeli individuals and officials complicit in apartheid. Read more

β€˜One system, one policy’: Why Human Rights Watch is charging Israel with apartheid | +972 Magazine
Israel has made it irrefutably clear it intends to make Jewish domination over Palestinians permanent between the river and the sea, says HRW's Omar Shakir in interview following landmark report.
   The word β€œapartheid” has undoubtedly become a centerpiece of the mainstream public debate around Israel-Palestine this past year β€” and today, the once-taboo term may have received one of its biggest endorsements yet. Read more

Israel cast its fate β€“β€˜Apartheid’ – with Nation-State law and dismissal of Palestinian state, says Human Rights Watch | Mondoweiss
For many years anyone going into the occupied territories came out saying they’d seen apartheid– separate roads for Jews and Palestinians, crippling checkpoints for Palestinians, township areas to which Palestinians were confined and moved. β€œApartheid on steroids,” the former chancellor of Brown University said in 2011. β€œWorse” than apartheid South Africa, a South African told me in 2006.
   Now Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus with a bombshell 213-page deeply-documented report alleging the crimes of β€œapartheid and persecution” that has excited the rage of the rightwing Israel lobby and of course no substantive rebuttal. Read more

HRW: Israel commits crimes of apartheid and persecution | Electronic Intifada
The International Criminal Court should investigate Israeli officials β€œimplicated in the crimes against humanity of apartheid or persecution,” Human Rights Watch says in a report released on Tuesday. In its paradigm-shifting study, the New York-based group calls for an approach centered on human rights and accountability rather than the long moribund β€œpeace process” that has been the prevailing framework for decades.
    Human Rights Watch has now joined a growing consensus finding that β€œJewish supremacy” – in the words of the human rights group B’Tselem – is Israel’s β€œsingle organizing principle.” Israel has β€œpursued an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians throughout the territory it controls,” Human Rights Watch concludes. Read more

β€œA Threshold Crossed”: Israel Is Guilty of Apartheid, Human Rights Watch Says for First Time | Democracy Now
A major new report by Human Rights Watch says for the first time that Israel is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The
international human rights group says Israeli authorities dispossessed, confined and forcibly separated Palestinians. β€œFor years, prominent voices have warned that apartheid lurked just
around the corner. But it’s very clear that that threshold has been crossed,” says Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. β€œIt’s time for the international community to recognize the reality on the ground for what it is β€” apartheid and persecution β€” and take the steps necessary to end a situation of this gravity.” Read more

Review of HRW’s Report β€œA Threshold Crossed | Jewish Currents
The report is expansive, covering nearly every aspect of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in Israel proper, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank. It is impressively detailedβ€”marshalling Israeli laws, government plans, statements by politicians, and evidence accumulated over years of monitoring Israeli abuses in the occupied territoriesβ€”and amounts to a comprehensive picture of the multi-tiered system of ethnoreligious hierarchy that defines Israeli sovereign rule between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
    β€œA Threshold Crossed” is also ambitious in its recommendations. Read more

Israel is committing β€˜crime of apartheid,’ Human Rights Watch says | The Forward
....While Palestinian groups have accused Israel of apartheid since the 1960s, and Israel Apartheid Week has been a fixture of campus activism in the United States since the early 2000s, the Human Rights Watch report levels the charge from a different source: a high-profile, widely-respected non-profit founded by Jews that has more than 400 employees across 40 countries.
   Many human-rights and advocacy organizations continue to avoid using the term in relation to Israel, including the perhaps best-known human rights group, Amnesty International.
The HRW report emphasized that it was using β€œapartheid” in the strict legal sense and not as a reference to South Africa, where domination by whites drew international condemnation and spurred a successful boycott movement that pro-Palestinian activists have tried to recreate. Human Rights Watch officials say they are not equating Israel to β€œan apartheid state,” a term they note does not exist under international law but is common in conversational usage. Read more


   The last few years have been devastating for the Palestinian people. In 2021, they must see hope for progress in their struggle for freedom and equality.

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UMKR is an international grassroots movement of laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church. We are responding to the Palestinian Christians' urgent call, in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.
OUR GOAL: UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with Christians in Palestine – freedom, equality, and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis.  Learn more about UMKR

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