Amnesty International, a UK-based human rights organization, has delivered a devastating blow to Israel’s often made but dubious claim to being the “Middle East’s only democracy,” in concluding the self-proclaimed Jewish state has “perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid.”
The 278-page report, published on February 1, articulates in detail how Israel has developed a system of control over the Palestinian people “through segregation and institutionalized laws, policies, and practices intended to oppress and dominate.”
The report pulls no punches in accusing “all of Israel’s civilian administration and military authorities, as well as government and quasi-government institutions” of being involved in the “enforcement of the system of apartheid against Palestinians across Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and against Palestinian refugees and their descendants outside the territory.”
This landmark report by the esteemed 60-year-old UK-based human rights organization affirms and corroborates the identical conclusion made by US-based Human Rights Watch and Israel-based B’Tselem in 2021, with each accusing Israel of meeting the very definition of an apartheid state.
Amnesty International called for UN member states to “bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.”
Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the “crime of apartheid in its current investigation in the OPT” and for UN member states to “exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.”
Cue the predictable fits of outrage from pro-Israel groups and the Israeli government, which made a mockery of itself in smearing Amnesty’s fact-finding report “false, biased and anti-Semitic” the day before the report was even published. This was a further demonstration of how Israel has weaponized and abused anti-Semitism for political ends, primarily as a means to silence international opposition to Israel’s criminal occupation and settler-colonial enterprise.
Amnesty International has never expressed negative sentiments towards Jews or Judaism, and its report criticizes only the conditions the Israeli government has forcefully thrust upon 4 million Palestinians in the OPT, 2 million Palestinian residents of 1948-Israel, and 6 million Palestinian refugees scattered across neighboring Arab countries.
Defaming critics of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic has become a perverse form of performance art.
But defaming critics of the Israeli government with charges of anti-Jewish bigotry has become a perverse and knee-jerk form of performance art. The routine has even reached comically absurd heights in recent times, as illustrated last month when Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, accused Hollywood actress Emma Watson of “being an anti-Semite,” after she expressed solidarity for Palestinians in a January 6 Instagram post.
Amnesty International is now being hit with the same libel from all corners of the Zionist movement and the Israeli government, including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who falsely claimed the report denies Israel’s right to exist, saying, “We are a democracy committed to international law…with a free press and independent judicial system.”
Freedom House, which ranks democracy based on each country’s commitment to civil and human rights, echoed Amnesty International and all the other human rights organizations around the world in its most recent report about Israel. The organization affirmed that “the political leadership and many in society have discriminated against Arab and other ethnic or religious minority populations, resulting in systemic disparities in areas including political representation, criminal justice, education, and economic opportunity.”
According to Israel’s weaponized definition of anti-Semitism, Freedom House is “anti-Semitic,” too – which, of course, it most definitely is not.
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“The Time Has Come to Admit: Israel is an Apartheid Regime.”- Haaretz
Last year, Israeli newspaper Haaretz, whose editors and journalists are predominantly Jewish, published an editorial titled, “The Time Has Come to Admit: Israel is an Apartheid Regime,” and cited the High Court of Justice in Israel for providing “a legal seal of approval for the existence of two separate legal systems in the same geographic area under a single government.”
“The discriminatory disparity exists not only in the area of criminal law; it applies to all the aspects of the lives of the Palestinians living in the occupied territories, whose basic and natural human rights are denied by the occupying power in the name of the security of the State of Israel,” asserts Haaretz.
Good luck explaining how Israeli Jewish editors and journalists are positively anti-Semitic for describing Israel an apartheid regime, while levelling the same charge against 13 Israeli civil society groups, which came forward on February 3 to defend Amnesty International. In a statement titled: “Human rights organizations from Israel condemn vicious attacks on Amnesty International,” they affirm that “Israel is not being held to a different standard – but apparently the government of Israel wants to be held to no standard at all.”
But none of this has stopped pro-Israel groups and individuals from talking out both sides of their mouths in their cynical and hysterical slander attacks against Amnesty International, with never any actual response to its findings. Us politicians from both sides vociferously condemned the report and the Anti-Defamation League called it “hateful, inaccurate, and incomplete.” Other American Jewish organizations added that Amnesty’s aim was only “to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.”
Not surprisingly, the Biden administration was no different. It rejected the human rights group’s accusation of apartheid by stating that it does not generally comment on reports by outside groups. Clearly, this is a claim that is patently false and absurd, given the US government routinely relies on the organization’s findings as they relate to human rights abuses in China, Cuba, Myanmar, Egypt, and elsewhere.
Israel has launched a full-frontal assault against Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society groups.
With this kind of biased support from the US and most Western nations, Israel has launched a full-frontal assault against Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society groups, by recently designating several, including Defense for Children-Palestine, as “terrorist organizations.” The United Nations not only condemned the move but also urged the international community to take strong action in holding Israel accountable for its conduct.
Similarly, Amnesty International instructs that now that it has delivered its extensive findings the world has “an obligation to act.” Indeed, Israel can no longer hide behind the bogus “anti-Semitism” canard.