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THE CRIME OF SOCIOCIDE IN PALESTINE
PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity), # 622, Januay 11, 2013
Story Code: 431
 
The Russell Tribunal was created in 1966 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2009 it established the Russell Tribunal on Palestine to investigate such crimes in Palestine. That tribunal has used the term sociocide to describe Israel’s systematic destruction of Palestinians’ territory, institutions, socio-economic infrastructure, culture and society in general. Indeed, the Tribunal’s 2012 session dealt extensively with the question of sociocide in Palestine.
THE CRIME OF SOCIOCIDE IN PALESTINE
THE RUSSEL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE DENOUNCES ISRAEL

The Russell Tribunal was created in 1966 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2009 it established the Russell Tribunal on Palestine to investigate such crimes in Palestine. That tribunal has used the term sociocide to describe Israel’s systematic destruction of Palestinians’ territory, institutions, socio-economic infrastructure, culture and society in general. Indeed, the Tribunal’s 2012 session dealt extensively with the question of sociocide in Palestine.

The term ‘sociocide’ is used to describe the destruction of Palestinian society by the following means:

a) Israel’s continued military occupation of Palestinian territory, continuous development of colonies on illegally occupied Palestinian land, the building of the ‘Security Wall’ (Apartheid Wall) in the West Bank, and the blockade of Gaza, which deprives Palestinians of access to part of their territory;
b) Israel’s widespread destruction of Palestinian schools and cultural venues to prevent Palestinians from sharing in their cultural and social identity;
c) Israel’s systematic denial of Palestinians’ right of return to their original homes and properties and right of restitution, thereby reinforcing the institutionalisation of their exile;
d) Israel’s discrimination against its Palestinian citizens, who constitute Israel’s indigenous population, on the basis of their non-Jewish identity, thereby endangering the survival of Palestinians as a social group.

The Tribunal has condemned Israel’s refusal to recognize the nationality of its indigenous Palestinian population. It has also condemned the fact that Israel prevents Israeli Palestinians from marrying Palestinians from the occupied territories or from neighbouring countries.

The Tribunal’s 2012 session concluded that Israel is committing cultural genocide in Palestine. It emphasized that Israel’s actions have already been condemned under International law - including the Convention on the Suppression of Apartheid - as crimes against humanity or war crimes. These crimes, it should be stressed, are subject to prosecution at the International Criminal Court under the terms of the Rome Statute of 1998.
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