Simone O'Broin

No colonization of a land has ever taken place peacefully.Colonization is violent. Ethnic cleansing is violent. The regime of occupation in the OPT and the apartheid regime all over Mandate Palestine is brutal in its violence and humiliation of the Palestinian people. All struggles to date – including that of the Native Americans, the Algerians under the French, the Vietnamese and the South Africans under apartheid – used both violent and non-violent methods in their struggles.1 Ronnie Kasrils identified four pillars which were the basis for the strategy of the struggle against South African apartheid: political mass struggle; reinforced by armed struggle; clandestine underground struggle; international solidarity. At different times, each of these could be predominant and, as Kasrils points out, “it is not for outsiders to direct those at the frontline of struggle.”2 In South Africa it was the struggle of the masses which became the primary way. Kasrils attaches great weight to the contribution of international solidarity actions in the case of both South Africa and Vietnam.

The Goldstone report1 was published in September 2009; the result of a fact-finding mission by four senior jurists to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza in December 2008 to January 2009. Its conclusions were that Israel had committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity2 and recommended that the situation be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for judicial examination.3 The report’s progress to date in the arena of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was covered in our last update. 4