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Catalan Parliament becomes first in Europe to recognise apartheid perpetrated against Palestinians

Catalonia’s Parliament building

The Catalan Parliament has become the first in Europe to formally recognise that Israel is guilty of apartheid against the Palestinian people. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several Israeli human rights groups had already made similar declarations, but yesterday Catalonia became the first parliament to officially recognise it.

The Catalans have passed a resolution declaring that:

the system applied by Israel to the Occupied Territories is contrary to international law and is equivalent to the crime of apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7.2 (h).

The Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has called on the Catalan and Spanish governments to respond to the declaration by banning trade in any goods or services from the illegally-occupied territories, to suspend military and security cooperation and demanding the re-establishment of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid.

Shamefully, despite the Labour party’s sovereign conference passing a similar call for sanctions against Israel for its apartheid, Keir Starmer and his front bench have broken the party’s rules to ignore and condemn the resolution and the party has tried to remove all trace of the ‘overwhelming’ passage of the motion. Starmer went as far as to declare war on Labour’s youth section after it recognised Amnesty International’s declaration and whipped Labour MPs to vote for the Tory government’s move to outlaw Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza.

Catalonia has long struggled against the Spanish government’s attempts to suppress its own drive for independence and has commendably shown solidarity with the heavily oppressed Palestinians. Unsurprisingly, the UK’s ‘mainstream’ media appear to have ignored the declaration.

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