AIJAC calls new Amnesty report “dangerous”, “libellous” and “an intellectual crime against truth, and against genuine international law”
Feb 1, 2022 | AIJAC
(AMENDED – FEB. 2, 2022)
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today said a new report from Amnesty International, to be officially released tonight but already widely circulated, accusing Israel of “Apartheid” is “dangerous”, “libellous” and “an intellectual crime against truth, and against genuine international law.”
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein said, “If this new report was not so dangerous it would be laughable. Despite the fact that Israel extends full civil rights to all its citizens, Arab Israelis play leading roles in all aspects of Israeli society, and an Arab party plays a vital role in Israel’s current government, Amnesty insists that ‘Israel has established and maintained… a system of apartheid – wherever it has exercised control over Palestinians’ lives since 1948.’ Moreover, it says this ‘system of apartheid’, is a ‘crime against humanity’. In other words, according to Amnesty, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just about Israeli control over the West Bank since the defensive Six-Day War of 1967, but rather, Israel’s very existence since 1948 has been a ‘crime against humanity’.”
He continued, “This libellous report is itself a crime – an intellectual crime against truth, and genuine international law, both of which it blatantly distorts to reach its predetermined conclusions. The twisted and legally absurd definition of ‘apartheid’ it employs – which basically makes any state with a national ethnic identity, or any lingering problems with discrimination against minorities, ‘apartheid’ – would damn the vast majority of the world’s countries as apartheid states if applied objectively.
“But of course it is not applied objectively – and that is exactly the problem. As a whole series of scandals over recent years have made apparent, Amnesty, like many other well-known NGOs, has been taken over by ideological extremists for whom the supposed great evil of Israel’s very existence is a matter of faith. These extremists see it as their role to damage, demonise and delegitimise Israel as much as possible, and seemingly don’t care about the liberties they take with the truth or law, the damage they do to the integrity and reputation of their own organisations, or the antisemitism they are likely to inflame against Jews around the world with their untruths and extremism,” he continued.
“Today, NGOs which were once great advocates of universal human rights are, through their extremism, not only damaging Israel, and repudiating the Jewish right to self-determination, as well as any prospects for a genuine Israeli-Palestinian two-state peace, but also hopes for a better world based on genuine human rights for all,” Rubenstein concluded.
Note: The original version of the above statement, published on Feb. 1, was based on the embargoed version of the Amnesty Report released to the media in the days leading up to the report’s official release on the evening of Feb. 1 Australia time. A copy of the embargoed version was in AIJAC’s possession at the time our statement was written. The official report released on the evening of Feb. 1 contained some changes from the embargoed version, including altering the quote cited in AIJAC’s original media release – a “system of apartheid originated with the creation of Israel in May 1948” – which appeared on p. 29 in the embargoed version of the report.
However, the final version of the report contains some similar claims, such as the one the media release now quotes that “Israel has established and maintained an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis – a system of apartheid – wherever it has exercised control over Palestinians’ lives since 1948” (p. 33). AIJAC has therefore amended the media release to reflect the changes in the report, but otherwise stands behind its original comments about it.