There has been a long series of racist fatwas (permissions) issued by rabbis for years (Such as the attacks by settlers on unarmed Palestinian people, the burning of mosques and the castling of olive trees). These are not individual cases, but it is the result of the “radicalisation and racism industry,” which is a systematic industry and an important component of the State itself.
The sources of these fatwas are protected by the state itself; the army not only handles this idea but shares it with the settlers. Settlers are not only isolated migrants but are brought in to settle in occupied territories, under the protection of the army, private security companies and police escorts while walking around with their weapons in occupied cities. Nevertheless, settler attacks are based on rabbis’ fatwas that incite violence and hatred and create an extremist political ideology.
Many fatwas forbid the renunciation of what they called the “whole land of Israel” and call for the killing of Arabs. The positions of the religious parties and some right-wing parties are based on these fatwas, which emerged clearly after the Oslo Agreement and the abandonment of the West Bank to the Palestinians.
In May 2007, Rabbi former President Mordechai Eliahu called on the government to launch a campaign against Gaza, considering it legitimate to touch innocent Palestinians. On March 6, 2008, the rabbis of the “League of Rabbis of Israeli’s land” issued a fatwa authorising the army to bomb Palestinian communities.
Furthermore, the settlers use their children by training them to attack Palestinian children and elders under the protection of the army. The rabbis’ fatwas were allowed to plunder Palestinian olive crops, poison their wells (Shlomo Riskin), not allow the 1948 Palestinians to be represented in the Knesset because they were the “enemy of Israel” (Shlomo Avnir), and prevent the provision of medical aid to non-Jews, even if they were allies.
The most serious is the control by the Zionist religious movement of the army’s leadership positions, especially the command of the elite units and the selected brigades. The growing control of rabbis over decision-making and their seizure of key political and executive positions, and their influence on the course of Israeli elections, are evidence that is driving the rise in extremism and violence and the hate industry.
In 2019, Rabbi Eliezer Shaktil told his students that “The masters are the Jews, and the slaves are the Arabs; It is better for them to be Jewish slaves; Arabs could not manage States and were unable to do anything”, emphasising the theory of racial superiority.
Israel commits crimes against humanity
These fatwas inciting hatred and promoting racism against Arabs have made Israel a racist State. International criminal law has defined two crimes against humanity for systematic discrimination and repression: apartheid and persecution. Crimes against humanity are among the most heinous crimes in international law.
Among the inhuman acts defined by the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute are “forced displacement,” “dispossession of real estate,” denial of the right to leave and return to the country, and the right to citizenship.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the government has also systematically discriminated against Palestinians and violated their rights within the state’s pre-1967 borders, including the refusal to allow Palestinians access to millions of dunums of land. In addition, the Israeli authorities have refused to allow more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in 1948 and their descendants to return to Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories.
Calls on Israel to put an end to their crimes
Amnesty International concluded in its most recent report that the Israeli authorities should be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians. The investigation details how Israel imposes a regime of persecution and domination on the Palestinian people wherever it has control over their rights. This includes Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as refugees in other countries.
We call for ending these brutal practices of home demolitions and forced evictions. The international community should put more effort and pressure on the Israeli occupation to grant equal rights to all Palestinians in Israel and the OPT, in line with principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Israeli occupation must recognise the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their homes where they or their families once lived, and compensate victims of human rights violations and crimes against humanity.