The Israeli Government accuses Amnesty International of antisemitism over the organisation’s report that claims Palestinians live under apartheid, reports the Independent.ie.
The review of Amnesty International is supposed to be published this week, but certain parts have been leaked already, and the NGO monitor, an Israeli pressure group, published them online.
The report will accuse Israel of “enforcing a system of apartheid against the Palestinian people” and of treating Palestinians as “an inferior racial group”.
Lior Haiat, the spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry claimed that the report’s statements are a “collection of lies” that sought to “deny the right of existence of the state of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people”, which he believes is modern antisemitism itself.
In a statement, Amnesty International stood its ground and said the report criticises “the Israeli government, not the Israeli or Jewish people”.
Amnesty International is not the only human rights group that scrutinises Israel’s settlements, the demolition of Palestinians’ homes, restrictions on Palestinians’ movement and the killing of Palestinians by armed forces.
Nevertheless, accusing Israel with being an apartheid state is controversial, since it draws a parallel to the 20th-century racial segregation in South Africa.
Still, a similar report by Human Rights Watch was published in April, 2021, also accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, claiming that Israel is responsible for “the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”.
The Israeli government faces criticism from the country’s own human rights groups as well, however, Mr. Haiat said that Israel was an inclusive democracy, pointing to the ethnic diversity of Israel’s coalition, which includes Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Arab party Ra’am. With regard to the Amnesty report, he said the government rejects “all the false accusations that are made by Amnesty International UK. This report is a collection of lies, is biased and copies from other reports from anti-Israel organisations.”
Photo credit: Richard Potts