U.N. Rapporteur Says Israel Guilty of Apartheid in Occupied Palestine

Michael Lynk, an associate professor of law at the University of Western Ontario and U.N. Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, discusses the special report he issued at the end of March finding Israel guilty of the crime of apartheid as defined by international law. Mr. Lynk says apartheid in Palestine differs from the apartheid practiced in South Africa, but in both cases laws, policies and practices were put in place to ensure the systematic and enduring domination of one racial/ethnic group over another. Primarily through settlements and barricades, Israel’s military rule in the occupied Palestinian territory has been built with the intent of demographically engineering a permanent and illegal Israeli sovereign claim over occupied territory while confining Palestinians in smaller and more confined reserves of disconnected land. Noting that scores of resolutions have been passed  in the U.N. Security Council criticizing Israel for its actions but none have attempted to hold Israel to account, he calls for the international community to devise imaginative and vigorous measures to end Israeli apartheid and occupation.Mr. Lynk’s six-year term as U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Occupied Palestine ends in May. He discusses his tenure in the position, its challenges and satisfactions, and why he is optimistic that Palestinians will eventually enjoy the same equal rights as Israelis.

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