Amnesty International should be ashamed

February 18, 2022 by Danny Danon
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According to a recent Amnesty International report, Israel is apparently “committing the crime of apartheid.”

Arabs and Jews walk by the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, July 5, 2020. photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The use of the false term “apartheid” has prompted denunciations far and wide from such figures as U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, who called the allegations “absurd;” State Department spokesman Ned Price, who said that he “rejects the view … of apartheid;” and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who decried the “one-sided focusing of criticism of Israel.”

Anyone who has ever visited, worked or lived in Israel knows that the claims are and have never been true. Apartheid, “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race,” was a system formerly in force in South Africa, where the black population was entirely separated from the white population based on skin colour alone. This was actualized in everyday life by denying blacks equal opportunities, treatment and protection under law.

In contrast, all one has to do is open a newspaper or review an online news site to see for himself the diverse and tolerant nature of Israeli society. The extent to which the report is a complete fabrication is illustrated by the following examples, though many others abound.

The Israeli parliament’s ruling coalition, for instance, contains an Arab party named Ra’am, headed by Knesset Member Mansour Abbas. The Judicial Selection Committee recently appointed Israel’s first female Muslim District Court judge, Osaila Abu Assa. Israel’s Supreme Court has an Arab judge, George Kara, who is not the first Arab Israeli to serve in this prestigious position.

Arab citizens also serve and hold senior positions in the Israel Defense Forces. In 2020, in fact, more Muslim Arabs than ever before were drafted into the IDF. The same goes for the Israel Police, in which many Arabs serve and where an Arab officer was promoted to the role of deputy commissioner.

Some of Israel’s best doctors are Arabs who work hand in hand with their Jewish counterparts treating patients of all religions and ethnicities. Indeed, Israelis work and live alongside their Arab neighbours on a daily basis and without a second thought.

To apply the term “apartheid” to Israel in 2022, or ever, is literally to distort reality to fit a false narrative and stigmatize the Jewish state for a crime that it is not committing and has never committed throughout its history. One doesn’t even need to rely on third-party sources to discover this. All those who wish to come to Israel and see the reality for themselves can do so.

Or perhaps they could listen to the truth from Bassam Eid, who said in response to the Amnesty International report: “As a Palestinian peace activist and founder of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, I am here to set the record straight. The international community is yet again lying about Israel. While it is not a perfect country, Israel is definitely not an apartheid state.”

At the same time as Amnesty International falsely accuses Israel of crimes of which it is innocent, its report also entirely fails to mention that the situation of the residents of Gaza is entirely different from that of Israel’s Arab citizens, because the Gazan population is living under terrorist rule. The same applies to the Arabs who live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.

The situations of both are dire—due to their own leadership, not because of Israel. It is their leaders who subject them to poverty, unemployment and a lack of education. It is their leaders who flood their education systems with hate and incitement.

It is their leaders who disgracefully pay and glorify murderers when they mutilate, bomb and assassinate innocent Israeli citizens. It is their own leaders who keep them in a state of victimhood. I suggest that Amnesty International turn its attention to these crimes perpetrated by Hamas and the P.A.

Amnesty International, an organization that claims to campaign “for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” has drafted a report that is nothing more than a publicity stunt designed to generate headlines through highly charged, erroneous language.

The only thing this report does is stir up hate and anti-Semitism and attempt to encourage the isolation of the innocent party, Israel. It does nothing to further progress or dialogue in the region.

By blaming Israel for crimes of which it is innocent, Amnesty International should be held responsible for enabling the real crimes to continue. The so-called “human rights” organization should thus be ashamed of itself.

Ambassador Danny Danon, chairman of World Likud, served as Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Minister of Science and Technology and Deputy Minister of Defense.

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