‘Fictional and preposterous’: Israel rejects HRW report accusing it of apartheid

April 28, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel rejected a report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) accusing it of apartheid and crimes against humanity as “a collection of lies and fabrications, bordering on antisemitic” and in an attempt to promote boycotts against the Jewish state.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan, in his first address to the Security Council, Oct. 26, 2020. Source: Facebook/Gilad Erdan

HRW released a report on Tuesday accusing Israeli authorities of “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The report’s findings are ostensibly based on an “overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat stated that HRW “is known to have a long-standing anti-Israeli agenda, actively seeking for years to promote boycotts against Israel.”

He criticized HRW’s decision not to share its report for review or comment with any Israeli authority, saying it “is clear indication that it is a propaganda pamphlet, which lacks all credibility.”

He quoted HRW’s founder Robert Bernstein who criticized his own organization in 2009 for “issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state”.

“This report is yet another part of the organization’s ongoing campaign, led by a known BDS supporter, with no connection to facts or reality on the ground,” he said, speaking of the report’s author Omar Shakir, whose work visa was not renewed by Israel because of his active involvement in  BDS campaigns and activities against the Jewish state.

“The fictional claims that HRW concocted are both preposterous and false,” he concluded.

Israel’s Ambassador to the US States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan rejected the report as “a collection of lies and fabrications, bordering on anti-Semitic, which is part of the organization’s ongoing campaign against Israel.”

“When the authors of the report cynically and falsely use the term apartheid, they nullify the legal and social status of millions of Israeli citizens, including Arab citizens, who are an integral part of the State of Israel,” he noted.

He also pointed to Shakir, “a well-known BDS activist who has made his hateful views and feelings towards Israel very clear. He has continually acted against Israel and his numerous ‘reports’ are not worth the paper on which they are written.”

As Minister of Strategic Affairs, Erdan worked together with Israel’s Interior Ministry to end Shakir’s stay in Israel. The move was approved by Israel’s High Court, which viewed Shakir’s activities as “an attempt to bring about a boycott against Israel.”

HRW “should be ashamed that such a liar represents them in the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, which has demonstrated this year, once again, how it strives for peace,” said Erdan.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Wanted: A Human Rights organization that cares more about helping the Palestinians living under Hamas oppression and less about demonizing Israel.”

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