By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
The London-based rights international group released a 211-page report yesterday, its second in a year, entitled: “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity.”
The document, which was thoroughly reviewed by TV7, explicitly denies Israel’s right to exist as a nation state for the Jewish People.
According to AI, “Israel and individuals acting on its behalf have been, in the process of establishing and maintaining a system of domination and oppression over Palestinians, systematically perpetrating inhuman and inhumane acts as proscribed, respectively, by the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute.”
Moreover, the report insists that “Israel has created and maintains an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination over Palestinians, which is enforced across Israel and the (Occupied Palestinian Territories) through reinforcing discriminatory laws, policies and practices, and, when seen as a totality, controls virtually every aspect of Palestinians’ lives and routinely violates their human rights;” while claiming further that “This system of apartheid has been built and maintained over decades by successive Israeli governments across all territories they have controlled, regardless of the political party in power at the time.”
It is important to note that the report, which can be obtained from the organization’s website, systematically uses anti-Semitic jargon, such as “Jewish control” and “Jewish supremacy,” and asserts that the only purpose for establishing the State of Israel was to facilitate a Jewish takeover of the region.
“Instead of seeking the truth, Amnesty echoes the same lies shared by terrorist organizations,” charged Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid, adding that, “5 minutes of serious factchecking would be enough to know that the so-called facts in the report published by Amnesty this week are delusional and disconnected 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.”
Israel’s top diplomat to say 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. In publishing this false report, Amnesty UK uses double standards and demonization in order to delegitimize Israel. These are the exact components from which modern anti-Semitism is made.”
According to a statement TV7 obtained from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Lapid went on to say, “The report denies the State of Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people. Its extremist language and distortion of historical context were designed to demonize Israel and pour fuel onto the fire of anti-Semitism. A few days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we once again learn that anti-Semitism is not just a part of history, but unfortunately, is also part of today’s reality. Just last weekend, Jews were attacked in London simply because they were Jewish. Amnesty’s report effectively serves as a green light for the perpetrators and others to harm not only Israel, but Jews around the world.
The State of Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy that grants all its citizens equal rights, regardless of religious or race. The State of Israel was established as the national home of the Jewish people with broad international support, in light of the lessons of the Holocaust. Amnesty criticizes the very existence of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and effectively denies its right to exist at all,” he said.
“It is not surprising that this report is being published by the British branch of Amnesty International, and under the auspices of the organization’s Secretary General. This branch is notorious for being corrupted by racism and xenophobia, and the organization’s Secretary General has previously accused Israel – with no basis or evidence – of murdering (late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser) Arafat. It is not surprising that it took Amnesty eight years to back down from this serious and baseless accusation,” said Israel’s Foreign Minister.
Stressing Jerusalem’s call for AI to withdraw it’s report, Lapid said it “would be preferable not to publish at all, given that it does not respect those who truly value and are trying to project human rights.”
Foreign Minister Lapid, who is also Israel’s Alternate Premier, said that AI, the once an esteemed organization “that we all respected,” is no longer a human rights groups “but just another radical organization that echoes propaganda with no serious examination.”
Israel, he underscored, will “continue to promote the values of democracy and inclusiveness, in whose light it was established and continues to exist.”
He concluded his comments by pointing out that “Amnesty does not call 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.”
The Jewish Federations of North America denounced the report as “irresponsibly distorts international law and advances hateful and disparaging rhetoric associated with age-old anti-Semitic tropes, while ignoring or whitewashing violence, terror and incitement committed by Palestinians.”
After echoing those remarks, the Central Council of Jews in Germany called on the AI section in their country to distance itself from the report, which it also condemned as “anti-Semitic.”
Jerusalem officials believe that the AI report is part of a coordinated and planned initiative by anti-Israel organizations and United Nations agencies to brand Israel as an apartheid state.
Unsurprisingly, Palestinians praised the report.
“The United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly are obliged to heed the compelling evidence presented by Amnesty and other leading human rights organizations and hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people, including through sanctions,” said the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.