U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides called the report released by Amnesty International on Feb. 1 accusing Israel of apartheid “absurd.”

“Come on, this is absurd. That is not language that we have used and will not use,” he said in a tweet.

His statement was the first by the Biden administration to the 278-page report, which was released on Tuesday. Later, State Department spokesman Ned Price also condemned the apartheid allegation, saying “we certainly reject the label that has been attached to this when speaking about Israel.”

In the report, human-rights group said that Israel has maintained “a system of oppression and domination” over the Palestinians dating back to the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog outright rejected the claims by Amnesty.

“Israel is a democracy which is committed to international law and sensitive to human rights and therefore appreciates the valiant work of organizations who genuinely strive to promote human rights. Amnesty UK’s report on Israel which was released today is a totally different story,” he said.

“This report, which frames Israel as an apartheid state, doesn’t belong in the category of criticism designed to promote human rights, but rather in the category of ideological de-legitimization of the very right of Israel to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” he said.

Herzog went on to say that “claiming that Israel has built and operated an apartheid system since its inception in 1948 essentially means that it was established on an immoral foundation and therefore has no right to exist. The report itself is blatantly ideologically motivated, biased and full of lies and inaccuracies. It totally distorts the true meaning of the phrase apartheid to suit its political purposes, and it also totally distorts the true nature of Israel.”

JNS

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