Cape Town session

5-7 November 2011


The third international session of the RToP took place in Cape Town, on 5, 6 and 7 November 2011. It asked the question: “Are Israel practices against the Palestinian People in breach of the prohibition on apartheid under International Law?”

After a first session explaining what was the definition of apartheid under International Law, the jury panel heard more than 20 legal experts and witnesses coming from all over the world (including South Africa) detailing what Israel policies on the ground meant for the Palestinian People and what were the legal consequences of those acts, both for Israel and the International community.

During this session, the jury heard evidence on:

  • Discriminatory elements of the Israeli legal system and the separate legal systems and courts for Jewish-Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the occupied territories.
  • Extra-judicial killing, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment during Apartheid South Africa, and in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in Israel.
  • Palestinian employment inside Israel since the 1990s
  • Denial of the right to freedom of movement, of residence, to leave and return to one’s country, to a nationality, to work, to form recognised trade unions, to education, to freedom of opinion and expression, and to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • Creation of separate reserves and ghettoes, the prohibition of mixed marriages, and the expropriation of landed property in Israel/Palestine.
  • Arrest, imprisonment, travel bans and the targeting of Palestinian parliamentarians, national political leaders and human rights defenders, the closing down of related organisations, and the current legislation being enacted to punish those who initiate or promote boycott measures for opposition to Israeli domination.
  • The Crime of Persecution in regards to Gaza, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel

Just as in the Barcelona and London sessions, experts and witnesses were invited to present these cases to the jury. The Israeli Government had also been invited but refused to appear in front of the jury.

The following personalities participated as jury members:

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate 1976, Northern Ireland

Ronald Kasrils, writer and activist and former government minister, South Africa

Michael Mansfield, barrister, President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, UK

José Antonio Martin Pallin, emeritus judge, Chamber II, Supreme Court, Spain

Cynthia McKinney, former member of the US Congress, Green Party, USA

Aminata Traoré, author and former Minister of Culture of Mali

Alice Walker, Author and Activist, USA

Yasmin Sooka, Director of the Foundation for Human Rights, South Africa

Following this session, another international session is foreseen for 2012 in the USA. The whole process of the RToP will end with the organisation of an International final session, which will make a final judgement that will encompass conclusions of each session.

Cape Town full findings (PDF)

 

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