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Final Communique

1st Global Conference on Israeli Apartheid: Dimensions, Repercussions, and the Means to Combat it

Final Communiqué

1st Global Conference on Israeli Apartheid: Dimensions, Repercussions and the Means to Combat - Istanbul, Turkey, 29-30 November 2019

We, participants at the First Global Conference on Israeli Apartheid convened by the Global Organization against Racial Discrimination and Segregation (AARDI) and the Union of Non-Governmental Organizations of the Islamic World (UNIW), held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 29 and 30 November, scholars, experts, jurists, activists and civil society representatives, have gathered from all around the world to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people as they struggle for the attainment of their inalienable rights to freedom, equality and justice. 

We condemn Israeli policies that discriminate against Palestinians based on their race, religion and ethnic origin, including policies that prohibit Palestinian refugees from returning to their lands, and those that subject Palestinian citizens of Israel to institutionalized and systematic discrimination. 

We also condemn the inhuman acts committed by Israel against Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967, including the suffocating, illegal blockade on Gaza, extrajudicial killings, excessive and disproportional use of force, summary executions, expulsion, dispossession, segregation walls, home demolitions, administrative detention, restrictions on Palestinians’ right to choose their own place of residence, their right to freedom of movement within their land, and their right to leave and return thereto. We moreover condemn the deprivation of Palestinians by Israel of their right to their natural resources and its exploitation of those resources for the use of Israelis, including settlers living in the occupied territories in violation of international law. 

After thoroughly considering the system of oppression that Israel has imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, we condemn it as seeking to maintain the domination of one racial group, Jewish Israelis, over another, non-Jewish Palestinians.

We emphasize that such a regime and its associated practices amount to the crime of apartheid according to the criteria set in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, as determined by the report of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid”, and affirmed by the update to that report presented at the conference by Professors Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley. 

We consequently determine, based on scholarly work and overwhelming evidence submitted during the conference, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid as a result of having deliberately established an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination over Palestinians, collectively as a people and individually, wherever they may be. 

Accordingly, we reaffirm our commitment to pursue justice and peace for all, reiterating our absolute rejection of any doctrine, regime or practice, anywhere in the world, that is based on, or results in, any form of discrimination, injustice or inequality. 

We express our alarm at the increase in incidents of racial violence, discrimination, exploitation and rhetoric worldwide, including incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism, and categorically reject any justification put forth for such incidents. 

We emphasize further that international law classifies apartheid as a crime against humanity and obligates States, entities and individuals to work individually and collectively to prevent it, end it, and punish perpetrators of this crime. 

We conclude that dismantling the Israeli apartheid regime, as well as all forms of racial discrimination, exploitation, and segregation, is a necessary precondition for reaching a true, just and durable peace.

We further emphasize that focusing on Israel’s practice of apartheid against the Palestinian people does not in any way diminish the gravity of other crimes and violations of international law committed by Israel, including violations of the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. 

Based on the above, we, the participants in the First Global Conference on Israeli Apartheid: Dimensions, Repercussions and the Means to Combat it,

Recognizing that the Palestinian people bear the brunt of gross injustice and have been resisting it for decades,

Recognizing also the past and continuous efforts of entities and individuals around the world in support of the Palestinian people and their resistance,

Recognizing further that the existence of an apartheid regime, anywhere, is not only morally reprehensible and a transgression of the values of justice and equality, but also constitutes a threat to regional and international peace and security,

Cognizant of our collective duty and ability to combat all systems of apartheid and contribute to their dismantlement, and that action by every person, entity and State is necessary to this endeavor,

Committing to continue to work together, and with all individuals and entities committed to justice, human rights and equality, until justice is served, and the Israeli apartheid regime is fully dismantled as a precondition to a genuine and sustainable peace,

Decide to form the Global Coalition against Israeli Apartheid along the following guidelines:

  1. The Coalition shall be open to all individuals and organizations committed to the principles of justice, equality, and dignity for all;
  2. The goal of the Coalition is to contribute to and expedite the dismantlement of the Israeli apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people, in the framework of achieving equality, dignity, and justice for all;
  3. The Coalition shall use all legal means possible towards that end; 
  4. The Coalition shall act as a forum and support network allowing its members to maximize the impact of their work in their respective fields, including research, awareness raising, legal action, and activities of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS),with a view to combatting Israeli apartheid;
  5. In all its initiatives and activities, the Coalition shall adhere to the principles set forth in international law and in particular: 
    • The Charter of the United Nations;
    • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 
    • International humanitarian law;
    • The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
    • The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid;
    • The Nuremberg Principles of International Criminal Law.

Istanbul, Turkey, 30 November 2019