If Israel is an apartheid state, no one told George Karra. He’s a Palestinian-Israeli judge in Israel’s Supreme Court. Or Issawi Frej, a Palestinian-Israeli cabinet minister. Or Hossam Haick, a Palestinian-Israeli professor whose groundbreaking research has made him a superstar in the international nanotech space.
The list goes on, but you won’t find any of these people featured in Amnesty International’s latest report, released on Tuesday, which claims that Israel practises apartheid.
It’s a slur calculated to conjure up images of Apartheid South Africa , where non-white citizens were denied the vote. Mixed-race marriages – and even relationships – were illegal, and public toilets, buses and beaches were segregated.
Amnesty’s claims of Israeli apartheid are based on misinformation, out-of-context facts and figures, deliberate omissions and blatant falsehoods.
Pull on any of these threads and the report unravels, as does Amnesty’s moral standing.
Take the status of Palestinian-Israeli citizens. Yes, there is discrimination in Israel, sadly as there is in every democracy. But at a time when there is an Arab (and Islamist, no less) party in Israel’s governing coalition, when there is a senior Arab minister, when the most recent Israeli budget included $13 billion allocated with the specific purpose of improving Palestinian-Israeli wellbeing, where Israel’s vaunted response to COVID has seen Arab and Jewish doctors treat Arab and Jewish patients in Israel’s world-leading hospitals, the idea that Israel is anything akin to an apartheid regime is perverse.