Report on Russel Tribunal on Palestine NYC, 10/6&7 Report
On October 6th and 7th, the Russel Tribunal on Palestine was held in the
Great Hall at Cooper Union in NYC. I attended this conference, and what I
took away from it confirmed the US role in sustaining Israel's human rights
abuses in Palestine, which clearly amount to Crimes Against Humanity under
International Law and Basic Laws of Morality. These are the reasons for
charging Israel with Crimes Against Humanity in the World Court in the
1) Israel practices a policy of a severe form of apartheid in the occupied
territories which is based on exclusive rights for those who are Jewish and
virtually no rights for those who are not. Apartheid is a Crime Against
2) Land is confiscated from Palestinians and houses demolished to make way
for settlements and housing where only Jews can live. The Palestinians
affected are made homeless. This is a Crime Against Humanity.
3) Israel has built a wall, not on the boundary, but deep inside of it,
and has taken the land for exclusive Jewish settlement. Large Jewish
settlements have been built on the "Palestinian side" of the wall, and
roads for Jews Only have been built so that Jews can drive through the
wall, into Israel proper, while the non-Jewish residents on that side are
barred from these roads and must stay behind the wall. This is a Crime
4) Water is severely limited to Palestinians. Israeli settlers receive
about five times the amount of water than their non-Jewish neighbors.
Water cisterns built by Palestinians are routinely destroyed by the Israeli
army. This is a Crime against Humanity.*
5) Palestinians are not given permits to build on their land, and when
they do build, since they were not given permits, their structures are torn
down by the Israeli Army. Tens of thousands of apartheid settlements have
been built on land taken from Palestinians. Ancient olive orchards, which
are the Palestinian farmers main source of income, have been bulldozed by
Israel, the land confiscated, and settlements for Jews Only have been built
there. This is a Crime Against Humanity.
6) In Israel proper, Israel has one set of laws that apply to Jews
regarding land ownership, marriage rights and a myriad of laws giving Jews
rights that Palestinians, because they are not Jewish, cannot have. This is
a Crime Against Humanity.
7) According to the Geneva Convention, the Occupying Power must protect
the occupied population from land theft and property destruction and
respect their human rights. Israel routinely ignores its responsibilities
under the Convention, and does the opposite of what International Law and
basic human rights call for. This is a Crime Against Humanity.
8) Israel has ethnically cleansed much of the occupied territories of the
non-Jewish population and replaced them with Jewish settlers. Ethnic
cleansing is a violation of International Law. It is a Crime against
Successive US governments have vetoed many resolutions in the UN Security
Council which tired to stop Israel from committing these Crimes Against
Humanity, thus Israel has been able to continue its apartheid policies and
ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from their land with impunity.
The US government, because it supports Israel's crimes, is also guilty of
these crimes. The US has enabled Israel to continue its apartheid policies
and ethnic cleansing of the greater part of Palestine, not only with its
vetoes in the UN, but with the billions of dollars in military aid given to
Israel every year. Israel is slowly emptying large areas of Palestine
of its non Jewish population, and confining them to small, scattered
pockets of Palestine.
Many Americans are ignorant of these facts because our mainstream media
censures this information and keeps the American people from knowing the
Isn't it time for Israel to begin to address its crimes against the
Palestinians, and begin to treat all people under its rule with the same
rights under the law for all people regardless of their religion? Isn't it
time for Israel to treat others the way they would want to be treated?
It's time alright, it's high time.
Let's hope it's not too late because the right wing, ultranationalists and
religious people in Israel seem to have a tight grip on Israeli society,
which is only getting tighter. Israel has a small but vibrant group of
citizens who stand squarely with Palestinians in their demand for equal
rights under the law, but they are like a voice calling in the wilderness
and are not heard.
In the meantime, the Palestinians must continue to struggle against
oppression, and do what they can to hold onto what's left of their lives
and property. People of the world with a conscience and moral compass,
must stand with Palestinians and Israelis who want a just society, and
support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, until Israel ends its apartheid
rule and incorporates a system of equal rights under the law for Jews and
non-Jews in Israel/Palestine and replaces its brutal practices with humane
ones, based on justice and equality.
by Richard Greve