In its coverage of Amnesty International UK’s new anti-Israel report, JNS included B’nai B’rith International’s statement condemning such a blatant attempt to exile and eliminate the only Jewish nation in the world.
(January 31, 2022 / JNS) A new report by Amnesty International UK set to be published on Feb. 1 accuses Israel of “apartheid” and “institutionalized and systematic discrimination against Palestinians.” Amnesty said it has “concluded that Israel has perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid as a human-rights violation and a violation of public international law.”
The report accuses “almost all of Israel’s civilian administration and military authorities, as well as governmental and quasi-governmental institutions” as being involved “in the enforcement of the system of apartheid against Palestinians across Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] and against Palestinian refugees and their descendants outside the territory.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was quick to condemn the report in a press release on Monday. He said Amnesty is “another radical organization that echoes propaganda with no serious examination. Instead of seeking facts, Amnesty quotes lies spread by terrorist organizations.”
He said the accusations against Israel are “a delusion divorced from reality.”
“Israel is not perfect, but it is a democracy committed to international law and open to scrutiny, with a free press and strong Supreme Court,” said Lapid, noting that Amnesty does not make the same accusation against Syria “an ‘apartheid state’—a country whose government murdered half a million of its own citizens—nor Iran, or any other corrupt and murderous regime in Africa or Latin America.”
“I hate to use the argument that if Israel were not a Jewish state, nobody in Amnesty would dare argue against it, but in this case, there is no other possibility,” he said.
The organization said it has based its findings on decades of field research “collecting evidence of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Israel and the OPT, and on publications by Palestinian, Israeli and international organizations in addition to academic studies, monitoring by grassroots activist groups, reports by U.N. agencies, experts and human rights bodies and media articles.”
The report, titled “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” accuses Israel of “institutionalized segregation and discrimination against Palestinians, as a racial group, in all areas under its control amounts to a system of apartheid, and a serious violation of Israel’s human-rights obligations.”
Amnesty UK is not the only organization to accuse Israel of apartheid.
In April, Human Rights Watch released a similar 213-page report titled, “A Threshold Crossed,” which accused Israel of committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
That report also came under heavy criticism for its anti-Israel bias, ignoring of Palestinian rejectionism, downplaying the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the application of double standards when discussing Israel.
‘Pour more oil on the fire of anti-Semitism’
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the report “consolidates and recycles lies, inconsistencies and unfounded assertions that originate from well-known anti-Israeli hate organizations, all with the aim of reselling damaged goods in new packaging. Repeating the same lies of hate organizations over and over does not make the lies reality, but rather makes Amnesty illegitimate.”
B’nai B’rith International president Seth Riklin and CEO Daniel Mariaschin also condemned the report in a statement, saying, “The reality is that Israeli Arabs sit in Israel’s current government and on Israel’s Supreme Court. They have the same right to vote as all Israelis. They have their own media. Arabic is an official language of Israel. Amnesty’s libelous claim of ‘apartheid’ is simply baseless.”