‘Gross misrepresentation of reality’: Israeli-Arabs condemn Amnesty report on Israel

February 3, 2022 by  
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Israeli Arabs and organizations working toward coexistence rejected and condemned the new report released by Amnesty in which it accused Israel of conducting an apartheid regime, saying its findings were “false and defamatory.”

Lorena Khateeb, an Israeli member of the Druze community and a social activist, said that “as an Israeli Arab citizen, I condemn Amnesty’s report. I grew up studying and working with Muslim Christians, Druze and Jews, we all put together the Israeli puzzle, despite the challenges, we enjoy equal rights and even work to fix what is not. This is what apartheid looks like?”

Yoseph Haddad, an Arab Israeli who served in the IDF and was wounded in combat, tweeted: “Amnesty – Who are you to decide that we live under an apartheid regime? You have no idea about the reality in Israel.”

“Stop the lies, and stop promoting your agenda on my back and the back of Israeli Arab society!” he demanded. “Amnesty Internasional has already broken the record for hypocrisy, but to compare Israel to an apartheid regime is not only a distorted lie but an insult to all those South Africans who actually lived through apartheid. It is contempt for and cynical exploitation of the concept.”

The “Together Vouch for Each Other” organization, which promotes coexistence in Israel, stated that “as an Israeli Arab NGO, we condemn Amnesty International’s false and defamatory report. We are Israeli Arabs who live, study and make a living here, we are all an integral part of the society and enjoy equal rights.”

“We are working to correct what needs to be corrected from within, but to say that Israel is apartheid is a gross misrepresentation of the reality and an insult to those who suffered under apartheid in South Africa. This is an accusation that we collectively and categorically reject. We call on Amnesty International to stop advancing their anti-Israel agenda on our backs,” the organization said.

Vouch for Each Other, was founded in 2018 by a group of young Israeli Arabs – Christians, Muslims, Bedouin and Druze, who felt determined to bring about change in the Israeli-Arab sector and adopt a positive direction vis-à-vis Israeli society and the country.

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D, NY) likewise stated that “calling Israel an apartheid state, as Amnesty has done, is a lie.”

“The hysterical demonization of Israel will do nothing to alleviate Palestinian suffering. It will only incite hatred for the world’s largest Jewish community amid violent Antisemitism,” he warned.

Following the publication of the Amnesty International Report, Raheli Baratz-Rix, head of the Department for Combating Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organization, stated: “On the one hand, the UN adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and on the other, it supports and allows NGOs to demonize the State of Israel, spin lies about its conduct and undermine its sovereignty. There is no new antisemitism!!, there is renewable antisemitism, and this is what it looks like. It is time to put an end to this so that history does not repeat itself”.

In Australia, a spokesperson for Foreign Minister Marise Payne said: “We do not agree with the report’s characterisations of Israel, and we remain a firm supporter of the State of Israel.

The conflict between the Palestinians and Israel must be resolved so that peace and security can become normalised.

We are strong supporters of a two-state solution, with Israel and a future Palestinian state establishing internationally recognised borders.

We have always urged all parties to refrain from actions and statements that undermine the prospects for peace.

Liberal Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma MP has described Amnesty International’s recent report on Israel as “wrong on many levels”.

“Israel is not an apartheid state. Arab Israelis vote and enjoy equal protection as citizens under the law. There are Arab members of parliament, the judiciary, the government, the police & armed forces. Arabic is an official language of Israel.

“Jews and Arabs live and work side by side in universities, hospitals, and towns such as Jaffa and Haifa. Mosques are in the same neighbourhoods as synagogues. The level of protection for minority faiths and ethnicities is higher in Israel than any other country in the region.

“And the level of integration and tolerance between different communities is higher than most countries in the west.”

Mr Sharma added that “to use incendiary terms such as apartheid without a factual basis cheapens this term and discredits Amnesty.”

“It does nothing to advance the cause of the Palestinian people or their desire for self-determination.

“Civil rights should not be confused with national rights.

“Ultimately it is a two-state solution — to which end Israel has embarked upon countless negotiations over several decades — that will secure Palestinian national rights, and achieve peace between peoples.

Not efforts such as this which seek to discredit and delegitimise Israel. And which wrongly seek to blame Israel alone for the failure to deliver Palestinian national rights, a failure which properly belongs to the Palestinian political leadership,” said Mr Sharma.



One Response to “‘Gross misrepresentation of reality’: Israeli-Arabs condemn Amnesty report on Israel”
  1. Sidney Bloch says:

    Its nothing less than a tragedy.
    When AI was founded in the early 1960s, it was full of promise. I was a member for years and wrote countless of letters on behalf of political prisoners np matter the country in which they were imprisoned.
    When I got to Stanford UNiversity in the the 1970s, I was honoured with an invitation to found and chair the first AI group in the area.
    When I was deeply involved in the battle to stop the USSR’s perversion of my profession–psychiatry–AI played a splendid role in our campaign.
    In recent years, AI has lost its moorings–from an org to fight for human rights and support prisoners of conscience–to a heavily politicised one in which objectivity is neglected and partisanship a common aspect of its reports.
    Finally, I grew up in South Africa in the dark years of apartheid–racism and discrimination dominated every moment of our lives.
    Feeling helpless, I migrated to Israel in 1965 and started my medical career in the famous Sheba Hospital.
    And on my very first day , who was my first patient? An Israeli Arab. I was over the moon. All patients no matter their religion and ethnicity got identical treatment.
    And thus it continued.
    Apartheid? what an inappropriate term for the complex political situation vis-a-vis the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza.
    I do not support certain policies of the Israel Govt but can speak out freely and strive to find a just solution.
    AI is alas discredited, perhaps irretrievably. As I mentioned at the outset–nothing less than a tragedy

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