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February 2, 2022 2:17 pm
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Amnesty International Creates New Definition of ‘Apartheid’ to Call for ‘Dismantling’ of Israel

avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld

Opinion

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks with Mansour Abbas, leader of the Islamist party Raam at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 13, 2021. Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

On Tuesday, Amnesty International released a report that charges Israel with maintaining a “cruel system of apartheid,” since the country’s creation in 1948. The London-based NGO accused Israeli governments of striving — for over seven decades — to establish “Jewish domination and control over specific areas of strategic importance,” while treating Palestinians and Israeli Arabs as “inferior non-Jewish racial group[s].”

The 280-page document titled, “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians. Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” concludes with a call to “dismantle” what Amnesty refers to as Jerusalem’s “system of oppression and domination,” and to allow millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to “return” to Israel — a recipe for ending Jewish self-determination.

While Amnesty’s allegations generated widespread media coverage (see, for example, here, here ,and here), the self-proclaimed “global movement for human rights” has essentially recycled patently false claims.

HonestReporting has thoroughly debunked the apartheid libel, including in a recent article titled, “‘Apartheid’ Myth: The Improper Use of False and Misleading Claims Regarding Israel,” that noted:

That apartheid refers to the policy of racial segregation in pre-1990s South Africa, a construct that does not remotely apply to Israel, is seemingly irrelevant to the UN, ostensible human rights groups and the media….

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, the vast majority of Palestinians have been governed by either the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or Hamas — which, mind you, is considered a terrorist group by most Western countries — in Gaza. The PA, specifically, was created with the support of the international community, with Palestinian leaders willingly agreeing to adopt partial autonomy while granting Israel security control in some disputed areas….

Israel is a country where Arabs serve as Supreme Court Justices, fighter pilots, Members of Kneset, artists, athletes, in fact everything that Israelis do, Arab Israelis do, as explored in depth numerous times by HonestReporting.

Indeed, Amnesty International had to resort to formulating a totally new definition of what it calls “the crime of apartheid” in order to place Israel in the docket.

On page 37 of its report, Amnesty concedes that it “does not seek to argue that, or assess whether, any system of oppression and domination as perpetrated in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] is, for instance, the same or analogous to the system of segregation, oppression and domination as perpetrated in South Africa between 1948 and 1994.”

That the OPT designation is in and of itself biased, is an irony apparently lost on Amnesty’s staff.

Instead, Amnesty manipulates reality through its reliance on bits and pieces of text from the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Drafted in the 1970s, only about half of the countries in the world signed onto this document. Meanwhile, modern, Western liberal democracies — including the United States and the United Kingdom — did not adopt it.

Additionally, Amnesty in its report used elements of the Rome Statute, which was also adopted by about half of existing nations but, tellingly, is strongly opposed by many world powers including the US.

In doing so, Amnesty constructed a new definition of apartheid that, obviously, has not been adopted by any country.

In April 2021, Human Rights Watch (HRW) employed a similar method when it accused Israel of “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.” HonestReporting detailed the problems associated with this Orwellian tactic.

In a video, we also explained how HRW’s and, now, Amnesty’s actions put the world’s most vulnerable populations at risk.

Amnesty further twists international law by advocating for the “return” of some 5.7 million “Palestinian refugees” to what is now Israel. In Amnesty’s distorted view, every descendant of the original 750,000-odd Palestinians who fled Israel during the 1948 war should be granted a “right of return” — a demand not supported by international law.

The actualization of this “return” would, in practice, spell the end of the Jewish state.

HonestReporting has repeatedly proved that reports such as the latest one released by Amnesty are inherently biased (see herehere, and here).

As The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote, Amnesty “…treats Israel’s founding as the original sin from which all other offenses flow. In the 27-page executive summary alone, we counted at least 26 references to 1948 or 1947-1949. Amnesty’s message is that Israel was created as an apartheid state and continues as such today.”

Not mincing words, Israel’s Foreign Ministry in a statement condemned Amnesty’s report as “intended to demonize Israel and pour fuel into the engines of antisemitism.”

US Democratic lawmaker from New York Ritchie Torres expressed a similar sentiment:

This conclusion accords perfectly with the findings of our extensive research.
The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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