N. Carolina Dems accuse Israel of apartheid, killing Abu Akleh

At its state convention, the North Carolina Democratic Party adopted resolutions highly critical of Israel.

Flag of North Carolina (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Flag of North Carolina
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Resolutions calling to commemorate a Nakba Remembrance Day, asserting that journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was deliberately killed by Israel, and pushing for sanctions and travel bans on Israelis were considered by the North Carolina Democratic Party at its 2022 state convention on June 18.

The Nakba Remembrance Day resolution was reportedly tabled for later review, but the other resolutions on the investigation of Shireen abu Akleh and condemning Israel passed.

Israel's commission of the crime of apartheid

In the resolution entitled "A Resolution in Support of Human Rights in Israel/Palestine," the NCDP called on the United States to apply existing laws on equipping and aiding foreign violators of human rights to Israel and to impose "targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on those individuals and entities that continue to commit," human rights crimes.

The NCDP also demanded that the US condition arms sales and security assistance to Israel on ending its "commission of the crimes of apartheid and persecution."

The state convention accused Israel of several human rights violations, citing recent reports by AmnestyInternational, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Yesh Din. It alleged that Israel had engaged in forcible transfers of tens of thousands of Palestinian communities, and had seized 65% to 85% of Palestinian land within Israel in service of Jewish settlement. 

Referring to the Arab population of Israel as Palestinian, the resolution accused the Jewish state of creating separate impoverished reserves and ghettos for Palestinians, including Gaza, which it said almost no one was allowed to enter or exit.

The resolution also castigated Israel for not granting the "Palestinian Right of Return" and recognizing a Palestinian state.

"Targeted killing" of Shireen Abu Akleh 

A second resolution, "Resolution for an Independent Investigation of the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh," called for a state department and FBI investigation into the death of Abu Akleh, who was killed during a gun battle between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin on May 11. 

The NCDP urged US President Joe Biden and all of congress to call for accountability for what they described as "the targeted killing" of Abu Akleh. 

The party cited investigations by Bellingcat and CNN that Israeli soldiers had likely been responsible for the Al Jazeera journalist's death. The Washington Post and the New York Times also issued similar reports, largely using open source intelligence as the basis for their conclusions. 

The Palestinian Authority also alleged that Israeli forces killed Abu Akleh, however, it has not released the bullet needed to identify the weapon it was fired from, as Israeli investigators have requested.

The IDF, meanwhile, has reportedly narrowed down the possibilities of which rifle may have killed Abu Akleh if IDF soldiers were responsible. The IDF has said that it is operating off the possibilities that an IDF soldier unintentionally shot Abu Akleh or a Palestinian gunman did so, a possibility that the NCDP claimed was "quickly refuted."

The NCDP alleged that Israel had not opened an investigation into Abu Akleh's death, likely in reference to the decision not to open a criminal probe at this point in their investigation unless new information raised suspicion of a criminal offense.

The IDF investigation into the Abu Akleh affair has continued to expand despite the lack of access to the fatal bullet, with intelligence teams now working to digitally map the scene.

Nakba Remembrance Day 

The convention also considered a resolution introducing of legislation at the North Carolina General Assembly to create a Nakba Remembrance Day on May 15. The resolution was reportedly tabled.

In the resolution, NCDP criticized Israel for taking control of 77% of Palestine and for what they acknowledged as an "ongoing Nakba."

The consideration of the resolution follows the Nakba Day resolution submitted in mid-may to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan, 13th District) and supported by other members of the informal congressional group known as "The Squad."

Each May 15, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba — the establishment of the State of Israel and the exodus of Palestinian refugees caused by the 1948 War of Independence when the nascent state was attacked by several of its Arab neighbors.

NOTE: In the original version of the article, it was reported that the Nakba Remembrance Day resolution had been passed, based on the documents available from the convention. Since, it has been reported that the resolution was tabled.