“We reject the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.”
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
U.S. officials panned Amnesty International’s accusation of Israeli “apartheid” against the Palestinians as “absurd.”
The London-based human rights organization released a high-profile report on Tuesday which argues that “a system of oppression and domination” maintained by Israel over the Palestinians is legally tantamount to apartheid.
“We reject the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price in Washington on Tuesday. “The department’s own reports have never used such terminology.”
Price added, “We think that it is important as the world’s only Jewish state that the Jewish people must not be denied their right to self-determination, and we must ensure there isn’t a double standard being applied.”
Price said the United States has its “own rigorous standards and processes for making determinations on potential human rights abuses.”
Responding on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador Tom Nides said, “Come on, this is absurd. That is not language that we have used and will not use.”
Critics of Amnesty described the 211-page report as antisemitic. In particular, the report denied Jews self-determination in their homeland, used antisemitic tropes in describing Jewish “domination” and “supremacy,” which violate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.
Critics also slammed the report for ignoring Palestinian terror — essentially judging Israelis and Palestinians by differing sets of standards, which also violates IHRA’s definition.
At its core, Amnesty’s report was essentially an indictment on Jewish self-determination itself.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) tweeted, “Claiming that #Israel is guilty of “apartheid” ignores reality and only seeks to delegitimize our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East. More attention should be given to the horrific human rights abuses committed by #Hamas and other terrorist groups in #Gaza.”
When asked if the U.S. viewed Amnesty’s report as antisemitic, Price demurred, simply stating, “We have had an opportunity to speak about this with our Israeli counterparts.”
Amnesty officials bristled at accusations that their was antisemitic.
“We recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination,” Amnesty Secretary-General Agnès Callamard told reporters on Tuesday. “We recognize the existence of the Jewish states of Israel. We are not criticizing the fact that there is a Jewish state.”
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