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Symposium Proceedings: Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?

Sunday, 16 August 2009 10:38
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A RE-ASSESSMENT OF ISRAEL’S PRACTICES IN THE OPT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

PALESTINIAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY, RAMALLAH, 16 AUGUST 2009

In 2008, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) assembled a team of scholars and practitioners of public international law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel, including representatives from Al-Haq and Adalah, to examine the suggestion made in the 2007 report of eminent South African jurist Prof. John Dugard, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur, that Israel’s practices in the OPT had assumed characteristics of colonialism and apartheid.

In May 2009 the team concluded its study and published its 300-page report entitled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A Re-assessment of Israel’s Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under International Law.  The report ultimately concludes that Israel, through its laws and practices in the OPT, has breached the international legal prohibitions of both colonialism and apartheid. This entails legal consequences not just for Israel and the Palestinians, but also for the UN, individual States, and the international community as a whole.

Al-Haq and Adalah hosted a symposium at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Ramallah on 16 August 2009, where members of the research team presented the findings of the report and discussed their implications with representatives of civil society, political parties, government officials, and international organisations. Palestinian, Israeli and South African scholars and professionals provided observations in response to the report. The papers presented at the symposium are reproduced below.

  • Virginia Tilley – Opening Remarks: The Significance of the HSRC Report
  • Ronnie Kasrils – Keynote Address: The Other Apartheid Regime
  • Shane Darcy – Apartheid under International Law
  • John Reynolds – Israel’s Apartheid Laws and Practices in the OPT
  • Daphna Golan – Reflections on the HSRC Report
  • Iain Scobbie – Israeli Colonialism in the OPT – Economic Aspects
  • Fatmeh el-Ajou – Israeli Colonialism in the OPT – Legal Mechanisms
  • Max du Plessis – Legal Implications for an ICJ Advisory Opinion
  • Hassan Jabareen – Implications of the Report for Legal Discourse in Israel/Palestine
  • Michael Kearney – Locating the Report in an Emergent Environment of ‘Lawfare’



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