Talk:Crime of apartheid

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The historical discussion area for this series of articles is at: WP:APARTHEID

Request for Mediation Filed[edit]

{{RFMF}} SlimVirgin (talk) 01:12, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Problems with "ICC disclaimer"[edit]

I just removed this paragraph:

"Nations that have not ratified nor acceded to the Rome Statute, and therefore are not subject to its terms, include the United States, Russia, China, India, Israel and every Arab country with the exception of Jordan. (See International Criminal Court#List of states party to the treaty)."

I posit that this statement is (1) inaccurate (the situation is better described here International_Criminal_Court#List_of_states_party_to_the_treaty which deals with the subtlies of signed verses ratification) and (2) the fact that it says "every Arab country with the exception of Jordan" smacks of POV -- why is this group of countries described by ethnicity and not the others?, (3) the list is horribly incomplete -- lots of African nations have not signed it either but those are not mentioned, (4) this isn't the appropriate place to deal with this secondary topic. --Deodar 15:31, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I put it back. This definitely is the place to deal with this topic, because the treaty's relevance is directly related to which nations are, and are not, subject to its terms. If you want to list here all the nations that have not ratified it, be my guest. I just thought a summary would be a bit more readable. If you want to refer to nations in the Middle East rather than Arab nations, fine. As for ratification vs. signing, ratification is more relevant, because those nations that have not ratified it are not subject to it. 6SJ7 15:41, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
And I put it back again. 6SJ7 15:43, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
It is poisoning the well in the current form. I'll NPOV it. --Deodar 15:46, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Wanting to make sure the truth is not suppressed is not "poisoning the well." I will eagerly await seeing what you consider "NPOV." 6SJ7 15:52, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Now I see the change. The change is POV. I figured this was about concealing the fact that Israel is not subject to the treaty that defines the "Crime of apartheid," and I was correct. Secondarily, it is about concealing the fact that only one of Israel's neighbors, indeed only one Middle East nation and only one Arab nation, is a party to the treaty. Looking at all of the "apartheid" articles together, it is clear to me that you (and others) are trying to connect the words "Israel" and "crime" through the word "apartheid", and it needs to be made clear that Israel is not subject to the treaty. 6SJ7 16:00, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
This article makes no reference to Israel in any way. If you want to make the point that Israel has unsigned the treaty in specific reference to the non-applicability of the crime of apartheid in that region, I recommend that the best place to make it is in the Allegations of Israeli apartheid article. --Deodar 16:14, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Give me a break. 6SJ7 16:40, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I think we have to be careful not to imply that countries that have not signed or ratified the Treaty of Rome oppose the notion that apartheid is a crime. The opposition to the treaty is based on various positions and will undoubtedly lead to the entire treaty being recast in time. But certainly Israel and the United States has principled opposition to apartheid as it's defined in the treaty. --Leifern 21:26, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Now I see that the "disclaimer," even in the inert and nearly useless form into which Bhouston converted it, has been moved down the article, and now there is a new second paragraph to the intro section. I can't help noticing that the two paragraphs in the intro now seem to contradict each other. Is the operative definition the one adopted in the first paragraph, or in the second? 6SJ7 21:14, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... IANAL, and definitely I Am Not An International Lawyer. I believe the Convention merely defines a legal term of art, and isn't "operative" in the same way the Treaty, by establishing a court to punish apartheid as a criminal offense, is operative. But, perhaps by virtue of this fact, the list of countries which have ratified the convention is much longer than the one of countries that have ratified the treaty, so there's a difference as to which governments have legally accepted one or the other definition, neither, or both. I don't find the definitions terribly contradictory in either case, beyond semantics, depending on how one defines inhumane persecution. And as no one has ever been charged with this crime, as far as I can tell, there's no case law yet to flesh out the ICC definition with specifics. Kendrick7 22:41, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
6SJ7 asked "Is the operative definition the one adopted in the first paragraph, or in the second?" In international law, there tends to be a lot of overlapping laws and jurisdictions -- if the original was not appealed by the UN GA then it is still "operative" in a formal sense. The study of conflicting jurisdictions and laws is known as conflict of laws. I am of the opinion that no disclaimer is needed -- I didn't add it originally. What may be useful is to add a section on how it has not yet been tested and there is no case law -- but this should be done from original reputable sources. --Deodar 05:12, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

There is an important omission from this article, which raises questions about whether it presents a balanced view. The article fails to discuss the ambiguous history of the UN resolutions and conventions. To quote the historian Hermann Giliomee on this point:

"In 1973 the UN General Assembly declared apartheid a crime against humanity and agreed to drawing up an International Convention on the Suppression of the Crime of Apartheid. The main sponsors were the Soviet Union and Guinea, and the convention came into opertion after twenty countries, all members of the Soviet bloc, ratified it. Aproximately seventy countries subsequently signed on. However, all the major Western countries refused to ratify it. At the outset the US stated: 'We cannot accept that apartheid can be made a crime against humanity. Crimes against humanity are so grave in nature that they must be meticulously elaborated and strictly constructed under international law'"

Considering the fact that the human rights record of the Soviet Union and other countries heavily under its influence was nothing but a cruel farce, it's small wonder that the South African government paid little heed to these pronouncements by the UN at the time. HeervanMalpertuis 21:40, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, shame on those Western countries! When someone says "1+1=2" you don't say he was wrong there because he is wrong elsewhere e.g. he also says "2+2=3". No. Russia and Guinea were not wrong to say aparteid was a crime because they themselves caused human rights violations. No, on this occasion, the commies were right. The correct response was not to excuse South Africa - which is what Giliomee and Mr van Malpertuis do - but rather to accuse the Russians of hypocrisy. Indeed, the failure of the West to condemn SA was used by the Russians to call the West hypocrites when they criticised Russia. The Russians were wrong about lots of things. Apartheid was wrong. The West was wrong not to call apartheid a crime. The pot can call the kettle black. The pot is a hypocrit but is also correct. Paul Beardsell 10:17, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Now, was it a crime against humanity? If it wasn't then only genocide is worse. List the "crimes against humanity" and you cannot leave out apartheid. Or, and this is my strong fall back position, not as practised in South Africa. If you disagree you just don't understand what life under apartheid was like! Paul Beardsell 10:17, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Shrill propaganda, but wrong on every score. It also reveals a rather cavalier attitude to human rights violations.

Communism (or "the commies" as Paul cutely refers to them), an ideology which has resulted in some of the largest mass exterminations of human beings in history [1], has never been declared a "crime against humanity" by the United Nations. Perhaps this has more to do with the fact that the former Soviet Union and China had a bigger say in that illustrious body, than a puny little state like South Africa.

In Paul Beardsell's topsy-turvy world, the pot can call the kettle black, which is akin to suggesting that Nazis can accuse Jews of genocide. This is not to say that Jews can't commit such misdeed, but simply that, if the accusation comes from Nazis, people aren't going to pay much attention.

No, the pot can't call the kettle black - not if you are concerned about justice and fairness, or a saner world, and especially not if the aim is to persuade people to mend the error of their ways. Then one has to be as squeaky clean as possible, or be prepared to be ignored. But then again, that was never what the UN motion was about, was it? It was all about odious regimes distracting attention from their own misdeeds.

HeervanMalpertuis 20:56, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Capitalism hasnt been declared a crime against humanity, and its the main cause of poverty, hunger and deaths in the world. And that is because the US is capitalist and they control the UN. Capitalism should be banned, and it isnt Great Khan

When the filthy beggar tells you you could do with a bath, I suggest you smell your own armpits, not his. Take comfort that you're cleaner than him, if you like, but t'would be better to take a bath. Paul Beardsell 01:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

crime against humanity[edit]

What is a "crime against humanity"? Crime: To take the most apt definition offered here a crime is a grave offense especially against morality. Humanity is, using the same dictionary, the quality or state of being humane or the human race : the totality of human beings. Humane is defined as marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals. Paul Beardsell 10:30, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

So, now, is apartheid a "crime against humanity". It seems, by these definition, that apartheid (as practised in South Africa) was exactly that. And this applies even if you argue (and there were lots of whites who did) that the blacks were no better than animals. Paul Beardsell 10:30, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Now, by being flippant, I do not make the best case possible. But if you don't know what it meant to live under the strictures of apartheid then do not argue to the contrary. Paul Beardsell 10:30, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

We don't tend to make original arguments here. The key is that both declarations say it is a crime against humanity and thus we don't have to debate it, we just report it. --Deodar 04:57, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't suppose there will ever be a Wikipedia page about 'the crime of segregation' Invmog (talk) 15:25, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Allegations of apartheid[edit]

Template:Allegations of apartheid has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Terraxos 02:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Israel is a segregacionist state with relation to Palestinian people?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:19, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

... the US stated: "We cannot accept ...[edit]

I can't find any source, reliable or otherwise, for that quote anywhere. -- 05:34, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't offer this as a RS, but it's quoted here with a date of 1976. [2] Andyvphil 13:30, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
It appears to be genuine, though my first few efforts didn't find a real source either. US House and Senate foreign affairs committees hearings starting in 1973, unfortunately only snippet view. - See [3]. John Z 21:06, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The problem is, the post immediately previously in Andy's PDF, and by the same author, mentions this very article ("van wikipedia"). Our version of the article on that date is here, which could be read as dating this quote to 1976. So this is entirely self-referential! -- 21:12, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, John Z, that does look promising, though I can't tell the attribution. Why are works of the Federal Government being snipetted by google, anyway? Looks like I'll have to dust off my library card. -- 21:17, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Crawling a bit, I get "Deplorable as it is, we cannot from a legal point of view accept that apartheid can in this manner be made a crime against humanity. Crimes against humanity are so grave in nature that they must be meticulously elaborated and strictly construed under existing international law as set ..." [4][5][6]. Note the earlier version was not precisely correct, e.g constructed for construed. My guess is it is State Department testimony.John Z 21:32, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for for the legwork. IMHO the "crime of apartheid" was named and created, but not "meticulously elaborated" nor with the intent of being "strictly construed" precisely inorder to capture the emotional tug of the anti-Apartheid struggle for application as an epithet to targets of opportunity. This history of the CoA, as a fraud, has recently been scrubbed from the article. And since I'm going on Wikibreak for three or four weeks I won't be able to attend to this problem for a while. But I'll be back. Andyvphil 23:17, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems like the was a desire for it to be targeted at South Africa, but due to the legal standard forbidding a bill of attainder, it had to be written in international scope. Communist nations supports it first because the African National Congress was a communist organization. That whole discussion is moot since 2002 though. -- 03:10, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
(Actually, communism was created against a sort of "ownership apartheid" to begin with, so it's not so jaded to see the basic ideological alliance here. -- 03:12, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

The "crime of apartheid" was created and named in the period when the General Assembly was doing disreputable things like saying that Zionism was racism. Western countries holed up in the Security Council and used the power of the purse to control the Agencies, more or less, but the USSR and the "Non-Aligned Movement" ran riot in the declarations of the UNGA. Which is why Western nations didn't sign onto the ICSPCA and which prompted the pithy and acute comment from the US dismissing the crime of apartheid that was quoted in the article or, as John Z has shown, one very like it. The fact that it is neither well defined nor applied without bias hasn't been mooted -- it's still the main problem with it.[[7]] But the fact that the "crime of apartheid" is widely thought to be a rather disreputable construct has been scrubbed from the article. Andyvphil 14:01, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, all that sounds like Cold War propaganda swallowed whole. We still don't know who actually spoke that quote per WP:ATTRIB, and even then we lack a secondary source to suggest including it wouldn't simply be WP:OR, i.e. we could present all kinds of slants by presenting bits and pieces from congressional testimony at will. I will make an effort to continue to expand the history section from reliable sources; perhaps I will stumble upon this point of view. -- 17:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
"...sounds like Cold War propaganda swallowed whole." Snarky comment which sounds like unexamined ignorance parading as enlightenment. I'll be on Wikibreak for another week. It'll be interesing to see if stumbles across any actual history. Andyvphil 02:38, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you are understanding OR rather too broadly. It is almost certainly the official US opinion, as the article had said, and it is not OR to present that. In any case the links I gave demonstrate the quote is found in a secondary source, International Criminal Law edited by Cherif Bassiouni, ISBN 0941320286.John Z 07:46, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but that's only a snippet view. We have no idea who is actually saying this per WP:ATTRIB. This is a primary source with little context, and without a secondary source showing its relevance, this borders on WP:SOAP. -- 10:42, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, it was obvious what it was, more or less, but I traced the snippets back to get the full cite, which turns out to be "Statement by Ambassador Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr. before General Assembly in explanation of vote on Apartheid Convention, November 30, 1973" in the particular case cited as inserted in the record before the "Review of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights: Hearings before the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (1974) p.58". Is the "relevance" of the US statement, explaining its vote, in question? Someone seems to think that noting that "China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan" are "many of the world's most populous nations" is "original research", so anything is possible. Andyvphil 12:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, I've clarified the source from your research. He seemed to have been the former U.S. ambassador to Uganda at the time, and a somewhat low level State Department official at the time of the statement. Anything he said is not close to being a statement from the whole U.S. -- 04:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Not a "statement from the whole U.S."?? What part of "Statement by Ambassador Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr. before General Assembly in explanation of vote on Apartheid Convention, November 30, 1973" don't you understand? You think he wandered into the General Assembly, saw the microphone was unattended, and extemporized? Andyvphil 12:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I suppose you are right; my last edit was perhaps overwrought. Ferguson helped the UN draft an earlier resolution on apartheid circa 1967, to begin with, as mentioned in his obituary in the Harvard Law Review. I initially considered the UN delegation may have simply dragged out the highest ranking African-American they could find to deliver this statement, but sources explicitly say acting as a patsy would have been completely out of character for him (in fact, not being a patsy may have kept him off the Federal bench). He also seems to have been a notable legal scholar on U.S. segregation. Given all that, there's no reason not to WP:ATTRIB WP:CITE the quote directly to him. -- 16:54, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Sigh, I keep typing WP:ATTRIB when I mean WP:CITE. Sorry for the confusion. -- 17:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
No doubt Ferguson had input, as this was apparently his bailiwick, but there's a limited amount of space that is going to be devoted to this comment, and attributing it to him in the manner you did left the impression (that you apparently had) that it might be merely his opinion. He might not have written it (Statements are generally by committee, with multiple vettings), and the important thing is that it was the official US explanation for voting no or abstaining (I'm not sure which happened). Btw, is the obit online? Andyvphil 22:36, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
There's a lot of stuff on JSTOR. I've been putting together something here: Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation/2007-10-19#Clarence_Clyde_Ferguson_Jr. -- 22:53, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Concerns with sources?[edit]

A. Rubin: do you have some concerns about the sources in the Israel section? I've looked at them, and they certainly appear to be on-point. --Noleander (talk) 14:52, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

off topic reparations section[edit]

Not sure what article this belongs in...

Not sure why you think it is off topic in this article? It relates to the crime of apartheid. The defendants are accused of being complicit in that crime. There is an important and expensive court case that has gone on for some years and is likely to end up the the US Supreme Court, setting an important precedent. This is just as "on topic" as trying to drag Israel into the topic. pietopper (talk) 16:01, 19 November 2010 (UTC)


During 2003, Paul Ngobeni, along with Kweku Hanson, his associate from the Ocwen class action suit, represented three plaintiffs who claimed to represent "all persons who lived in South Africa between 1948 and the present and who suffered damages as a result of apartheid." Punitive and compensatory damages in excess $400 billion were claimed from a "slew" of multinational corporations (including IBM, Citigroup, GE, DuPont and many others) that did business in apartheid South Africa for violations of international law subject to suit in United States federal district court under the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATCA”), and other jurisdictional provisions. The Southern District Court of New York under Judge John E. Sprizzo found for defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint.[1] That finding was partially vacated by the US Court of Appeal (Second Circuit) in an appeal first lodged in January 2006 and decided in October 2007[2] but by then Messrs Ngobeni and Hanson were no longer representing the claimants.[3]

Allegations inappropriately juxtaposed with definition of the crime[edit]

It would seem to me that a whole section on allegations regarding Israel (and only Israel) in an article dedicated to discussing the definition of the crime of apartheid is a wholly inappropriate POV coatrack. PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 16:40, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

The article also discusses South Africa, so Israel isn't singled out, IMO. If other countries have been accused of apartheid, I naturally support discussing them too. --Dailycare (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

POV Pushing[edit]

The section about Israel is blatant POV pushing. It reads like an essay on why Israel is an apartheid state, and provides no information about the major flaws that critics have found with the analogy. The POV tag needs to remain until these issues are addressed.Kinetochore (talk) 08:13, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

You are more than welcome to add any sources that offer rebuttals to this. However, this article is not about a supposed analogy. This article is about a crime in international law, and the section about Israel here is about that specific issue. Not people comparing it to South Africa under Apartheid, which is what the lead of the article you copied here is about. nableezy - 14:19, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
'Rebuttals' would hardly help. The section is just list of quotations of notable individuals and partisan organizations accusing Israel of the crime of Apartheid. It needs a full rewrite. Also, the section should not be limited to Israel - many countries have been accused of the crime of Apartheid (i.e. Iran, Sudan, Pakistan). The section should be titled "Allegations of apartheid", with maybe a paragraph summary for each country.Kinetochore (talk) 08:48, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Sure, fine. I dont think anybody would have a problem with you, or anybody else, expanding the section with relevant material. That isnt what you did initially though. nableezy - 15:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

We already have a link to Israel and the apartheid analogy in the "See Also" section. Why are we duplicating cherry picked sentences from that article in this article when the actual article is already linked?

Once again, I propose a deletion of that section unless there is a constructive reason to keep it. Guy Montag (talk) 02:44, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

This section isnt about an "analogy", it is about charges that Israel has committed the actual crime of apartheid. That is the reason to keep the section. nableezy - 03:41, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Ok, well let's include allegations of: Bahraini Apartheid [8], Syrian Apartheid [9], Malaysian Apartheid [10], Myanmar Apartheid [11] Saudi Arabian Apartheid based on religion, which is a part of Article 7 of the Roman Statue [12][13], Jordanian apartheid [14] and Bosnian apartheid [15].

I am sure no one will have any issues with expanding the article, although we will have to make a general section and the nations as sub sections.

Guy Montag (talk) 04:28, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I thank you for demonstrating the problem with just googling a combination of words and randomly throwing out the results. Not one of your links discusses the crime of apartheid. Like I wrote, this page is about the crime of apartheid, a defined and criminalized by the Rome Statute. There have been allegations that Israel is guilty of the actual crime, not simply "analogies" to "A/apartheid". If you can bring sources of comparable quality that accuse any other state of being guilty of the crime of apartheid, that would be great. I would thank you. Do not however simply google apartheid Syria and pretend like you found something that belongs on this page in a misguided attempt at "balancing" an unrelated topic. nableezy - 04:50, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

An ethnic minority rules Syria and crushes all dissent, a religious minority rules Bahrain and crushes all dissent, the Malays have a system of Malay Supremacy etc. I think that credible sources for this article are doctors, journalists and NGOs and who discuss the crime of apartheid in other countries and in this case, Malaysia should definitely be a subject of interest even if they do not have the same energetic focus on the subject as they do with Israel. Guy Montag (talk) 06:35, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, if they actually discuss the crime of apartheid. None of the links above do. nableezy - 13:18, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
We also need some sources on Saudi apartheid, as well as apartheid in the Sudan, apartheid as practiced by North Korea (i.e., exclusion of outsiders), etc. (talk) 17:35, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I can add in Zilbershatts as a rebuttal. I usually use formal citation in Law articles (the system I know is Bluebook, I am from the US) - there are some problems I can see in the citation section that need cleanup, would Bluebook be a problem for anyone here? European lawyers may use a different system... Seraphim System (talk) 23:51, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Weird BNP derail[edit]

"The British National Party, which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1980 and went on to make substantial gains in local council elections (as well as gaining two Members of the European Parliament, includes an equivalent of apartheid in its election manifestos by vowing to give white Britons priority for housing, education and jobs."

No one is going to defend the BNP but come on, the source links to some obscure web page and the sentence is completely out of place in that sub section. What does it even relate to? Why does it switch from discussing the treaty and its history to describing an obscure political party in Britain? What makes it so special or different than say the Jobbik Party, or the Nationalist Movement Party in Turkey or the United Malays National Organization which supports the Bumiputera policies? And who exactly decides what political party even qualifies for the nebulous "equivalent to apartheid" label?

I believe that the sentence about the BNP is out of place, out of context and is as related to this topic as warfare is to the science of rocketry. I am going to remove it unless someone has a constructive explanation on why it should be kept and how it would fit in this topic. Guy Montag (talk) 02:20, 2 September 2011 (UTC)


Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 16:37, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

"right to leave" links to "Illegal emmigration"[edit]

In the "ICSPCA definition of the crime of apartheid" section of the article, in the definition of the crime of apartheid, in paragraph c, "right to leave" links to the "Illegal emigration" article, which seems to discuss restrictions on emigratory rights imposed by various countries rather than the right to leave itself, thus I suggest removing this link. There does not seem to exist an article explicitly discussing the right to leave, altough the "Freedom of movement" article seems to superpose the topic. Since the "Freedom of movement" is mentioned seperatly within paragraph c of the "ICSPCA definition of the crime of apartheid", I am unsure whether "right to move" should be linked to it. Igissa (talk) 14:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

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