Islamic Leaders Urged to Condemn Israeli Apartheid as Gaza Crisis Escalates

Israel's actions in Gaza have led to a devastating toll, with over 34,500 deaths and 80% of the population displaced. International leaders are being called upon to condemn Israel's apartheid regime, with Turkish President Erdogan suspending trade with Israel in response.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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Islamic Leaders Urged to Condemn Israeli Apartheid as Gaza Crisis Escalates

Islamic Leaders Urged to Condemn Israeli Apartheid as Gaza Crisis Escalates

As tensions escalate between Israel and Hamas, international leaders are being called upon to condemn Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians and its apartheid regime. The United Nations defines apartheid as "any inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group over any other racial group and systematically oppressing them."

Why this matters: The international community's response to Israel's actions will set a precedent for addressing human rights abuses and apartheid regimes globally. Failure to condemn Israel's actions could embolden other countries to adopt similar oppressive policies, leading to a deterioration of human rights worldwide.

Top Israeli officials have consistently self-identified Israel as an apartheid state. Former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion stated in 1967, "Israel better rid itself of the territories and their Arab population as soon as possible. If it did not, Israel would soon become an apartheid state." In 1976, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warned, "I don't think it's possible to contain over the long term if we don't want to get to apartheid a million and a half more Arabs inside a Jewish state."

More recently, former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel stated in 2013, "In the situation that exists today, until a Palestinian state is created, we are actually one state. This joint state is an apartheid state." In 2015, Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad spy agency, said "On the Palestinian matter, Benjamin Netanyahu's policies are leading to either a binational state or an apartheid state."

Israel's 2018 Nation State Law codified its apartheid policies, stating that "The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people. The state views the development of Jewish settlements as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, "Israel is not a nation of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and not anyone else."

The current crisis in Gaza has taken a devastating toll. The United Nations humanitarian aid agency warns that hundreds of thousands of people in Rafah are at imminent risk of death if Israel carries out a military assault on the city. An Israeli airstrike killed seven people, mostly children, in Rafah overnight on Friday. The death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 34,500 people, according to local health officials.

The war began on October 7, 2023 when Hamas attacked southern Israel, abducting about 250 people and killing around 1,200 mostly civilians, according to Israel. The latest, work has driven around 80% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million from their homes, caused vast destruction, and pushed northern Gaza to the brink of famine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Israel's actions, stating "Up to now, Israel has killed 40,000 to 45,000 Palestinians without mercy. As Muslims, we could not stand by and watch." Turkey has suspended all imports and exports to Israel in response to the deterioration of the situation in Rafah. The Turkish government said the trade ban will stay in place until a permanent ceasefire is achieved and Israel allows all humanitarian aid to reach Gaza without hindrance.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Club reported that two Palestinian detainees from Gaza have died in Israeli custody, including prominent surgeon Dr. Adnan al-Borsh, who was detained by Israeli troops during a December raid on al-Awda Hospital in Gaza City. The cause of their deaths is not immediately known, but human rights groups report harsh conditions in Israeli prisons, including beatings and medical neglect.

The crisis in Gaza deepens and evidence of Israel's apartheid policies mounts, Islamic leaders and the international community face growing calls to take a stand against Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people. The numerous statements from Israeli officials themselves, self-identifying Israel as an apartheid state, highlight the urgency of the situation. Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad spy agency, warned in 2015 that"On the Palestinian matter, Benjamin Netanyahu's policies are leading to either a binational state or an apartheid state."

Key Takeaways

  • Israel's treatment of Palestinians is deemed apartheid by international leaders and Israeli officials themselves.
  • Failure to condemn Israel's actions could embolden other countries to adopt similar oppressive policies.
  • Top Israeli officials, including former PMs and ambassadors, have self-identified Israel as an apartheid state.
  • Israel's 2018 Nation State Law codified its apartheid policies, prioritizing Jewish national self-determination.
  • The Gaza crisis has resulted in over 34,500 deaths and 80% of the population displaced, with Turkey condemning Israel's actions.