(January 31, 2022, Johannesburg, South Africa, JNS Wire) In an attempt to justify its efforts to invalidate the only Jewish homeland, Amnesty International’s (AI) Report (to be published February 1, 2022) resorts to the shameless defamation and slander of the State of Israel. Millions of South Africans who suffered and fought under actual apartheid should be angered and insulted by Amnesty International’s attempt to dilute their own history and experience of apartheid, and to hijack the term and falsely use it against Israel. South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) rejects in the strongest terms the politicized report by AI that calls into question Israel’s very existence and gives a free pass to terror campaigns against the Jewish State, by cloaking the perpetrators in a stolen mantle of victimhood. For years now, numerous anti-Israel NGOs have coordinated pseudo-reports that invent their own tendentious definition of “apartheid” and then accuse Israel, and no other country, of practicing it. Amnesty itself has an appalling history of hate towards Israel and Jews, with members participating in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns, antisemitic incidents and demonization of Jews and Israel, and thus any report they publish against Israel has little credibility.
It is well-known to Jews and Arabs in Israel, and anyone who visits the country, that Israel’s democracy is the absolute antithesis to apartheid. The rule of law in Israel is sacred and universal, it is justly and fairly applied, and does not rest upon racial lines. The legislature of Israel is representative of all its citizens. Like South Africa, Israel uses a system of proportional representation. All citizens in Israel have equal voting rights.
The Knesset comprises Arab and Muslim parties, including an Islamic party within the ruling coalition government. There is not an exclusionary parliamentary system, which is one of the hallmarks of an apartheid state. Based upon this system of proportional representation, Israel clearly demonstrates it cannot be labelled an “apartheid” state and exceeds many democracies by ensuring the reflection of national demographics in public institutions. In Israel’s latest round of judicial appointments, six of the new justices were from the Israeli-Arab community, four of these were women.
These facts are echoed in sentiments voiced by many prominent South Africans. Kenneth Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), succinctly exclaimed, “I know what apartheid was, and Israel is not apartheid.” Meshoe further goes on to say that calling Israel an apartheid state is nothing more than “an empty political statement.” Anti-apartheid activist and academic, Rhoda Kadalie, has observed, “Whereas apartheid was established through a series of oppressive laws that governed, which park benches we could sit on, where we could go to school, which areas we were allowed to live in, and even whom we could marry, Israel was founded upon a liberal and inclusive Declaration of Independence.” These are just some of the many examples of the misuse of the apartheid analogy as South Africans have pointed out in this video.
The question is why will Amnesty International not accept these easily observable truths? Such a proclamation requires wilful and determined prejudice and racism. AI is guilty of the crime of which it accuses Israel.
As it contains only spurious allegations intended to harm Israel, this report deliberately leads the reader away from the question of why peace has not been achieved between Israel and the Palestinians. No mention is made of the infamous, ‘Three No’s’ of Khartoum’, nor the rejectionism by Arafat and Abbas that so frustrated successive peace brokers such as U.S. President Bill Clinton. Rather, Amnesty International omits knowledge that would show that while Israel has consistently held out the hand of peace, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”, to borrow the words of South African born Israeli diplomat Abba Eban. Israel’s allies within SAFI and across the world will not be intimidated by this libellous report but will stand together and declare that never again will Israel and the Jewish people be subjected to targeted discrimination and racism.