View over Bethlehem Photo Thomas van Gool

Palestine and Israel | 13 augustus 2020 | by Thomas van Gool

View over Bethlehem Photo Thomas van Gool

Legal Opinion Yesh Din ‘The Israeli Occupation and The Crime of Apartheid’

With the aim to provide a platform for further discussion and exchange of thoughts around the theme of the crime of Apartheid in the light of Yesh Din’s recent legal opinionThe Israeli Occupation and The Crime of Apartheid’, PAX together with Oxfam Novib, SOMO and The Rights Forum organised a webinar. In this webinar Michael Sfard, leading Israeli Human Rights lawyer and writer of the legal opinion, went into detail about the background of the opinion as well as its main conclusions.

After 15 years of research and legal representation of Palestinians living under occupation, the Israeli Human Rights Organization Yesh Din felt the time had come to investigate in what legal context they were working. The investigation resulted in a legal opinion authored by Michael Sfard concluding that the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank.

While the legal opinion specifically focuses on the West Bank without East Jerusalem, practises in other geographical areas including Jerusalem were highlighted in the webinar by other expert speakers.

During the active Q&A session in which many participants used the opportunity to ask questions also the role of Israeli civil society and the international community was highlighted, including the responsibility of third states.

“We can’t conclude that the crime of apartheid is being committed and continue business as usual the day after. It does not only obligates third countries, but it also obligates us.”
Michael Sfard, Israeli Human Rights Lawyer

The webinar can be watched here:


  • Michael Sfard, Israeli Human Rights Lawyer
  • Munir Nusseibeh, Director of the Community Action Center at the Al-Quds University
  • Sharona Weiss, Head of International Advocacy Department Yesh Din

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