Hundreds of academics call for end of 'Israel's apartheid regime'
A petition condemning Israeli practices and calling for an immediate end to the Jewish state's "apartheid regime" has been signed by more than 600 scholars, artists and intellectuals from more than 45 countries.
The petition, organised by the Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine (AURDIP), calls for a "democratic constitution" that ensures equal rights and an end to discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, or religion.
"Israel has established an apartheid regime over the entire territory of historic Palestine, directed against the entire Palestinian people, which it has deliberately fragmented,” the petition reads.
"Israel no longer seeks to conceal the character of its apartheid regime, asserting Jewish supremacy and self-determination rights reserved for Jews throughout historic Palestine under the new Basic Law passed in 2018 by the Knesset," it continues.
The petition also accuses "Western powers" of enabling Israel's violations against Palestinians.
"The Western powers have facilitated and even subsidised for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonisation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically and even militarily."
AURDIP called for an immediate end to the "apartheid regime", urging equal rights for all and the need to prioritise the "long-delayed right of return of Palestinian refugees driven from their towns and villages during and after the creation of the state of Israel."
The petition advocates the establishment of a "National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation and Accountability", which will support the transition from an “Israeli apartheid to a government process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices.”
The petition also emphasises its support for formal investigations, led by the International Criminal Court, into "Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid."
Notable signatories include Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières Rony Brauman, Emeritus Professor of International Law at Princeton University Richard Falk, former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Abdeen Jabaram, health researcher Sir Iain Chalmers, and veteran anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils.