The Parliament of Catalonia Recognizes that Israel is Guilty of Apartheid

In a historical vote on Thursday, 16th of June, the Parliament of Catalonia recognized Israel as committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people and demanded to not give any assistance or support to this situation.
On 16 June 2021 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition of Palestinian civil society, warmly salutes the Parliament of Catalonia for its resolution recognizing and condemning Israel’s crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.

“The Israeli authorities must be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian population,” Amnesty International said today in a stunning new report. The investigation details how Israel imposes a system of oppression and domination on the Palestinian population in places where it has control over its rights. This includes Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), as well as displaced refugees in other countries.

Amnesty International calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the crime of apartheid in its ongoing investigation in the OPT and calls on all states to exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.

According to the resolution proposal, the Generalitat government “will use all possible political and diplomatic tools, within the scope of its powers, to ensure that the Israeli authorities implement the recommendations made in the reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.”

With this historical resolution, the Parliament of Catalonia becomes the first parliament in Europe to publicly acknowledge that “the system applied by Israel to the Occupied [Palestinian] Territories is contrary to international law and is equivalent to the crime of apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7.2 (h).”

The resolution was supported by the following political parties: the Candidatura d’Unitat Popular, En Comú Podem, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and the Partit Socialista de Catalunya. We hope that their courageous vote will inspire other regional parliaments of the Spanish state, as well as its state parliament, to also stand on the right side of history.
In this way they join the postulates of a group made up of sixteen entities that have come together under the name “Enough of complicity with Israel.” And among them, the aforementioned Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

The resolution was registered during Israeli Apartheid Week on March 21st, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On that day, the Catalan Coalition “Prou Complicitat amb Israel” (Stop complicity with Israel) organized a meeting between the above political parties and Bruno Stagno, director of advocacy for Human Rights Watch, and Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International-Spain. The latter presented the highlights of their respective reports on Israeli apartheid, calling on Catalonia to not render aid or assistance to the maintenance of apartheid, and to act instead to bring it to an end.

The resolution calls on the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish Government to use all political and diplomatic tools at their disposal to compel Israeli authorities to implement the recommendations issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It also calls for ensuring that human rights are at the heart of all bilateral and multilateral agreements with official Israeli institutions by applying hightened due diligence to avoid any support of the apartheid system.

Inspired by this Catalan Parliament resolution, Palestinian civil society represented by the BNC expects the government of Catalonia and the Spanish state’s government to adopt, as a matter of priority the following measures of accountability:

Banning trade with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, which amounts to a war crime under international law.
Suspending direct and indirect military and security trade with Israel, including training, joint military-security academic projects, and all military funding and subsidies to Israel. The recent scandal over the use of the Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware against prominent Catalans and the Spanish foreign affairs minister itself proves once again that Israel’s substantial role in global repression, mass surveillance techniques and spyware must be challenged by all States and autonomous regions.

Supporting #UNinvestigateApartheid and the re-establishment of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, a demand widely supported by Palestinian civil society as well as by leading international figures, particularly in the Global South.


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