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UN Rapporteur Issues Report Accusing Israel of Apartheid

United Nations Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk released a report on March 24 accusing Israel of being an apartheid state.
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March 24, 2022

United Nations Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk released a report on March 24 accusing Israel of being an apartheid state.

The report, according to The Times of Israel (TOI), alleged that Israel is providing “one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits and privileges while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints and under a permanent military rule” in the “occupied Palestinian territory.” Additionally, Lynk claimed that Israel is fragmenting the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem from each other to divide the Palestinians and that the Jewish state is “warehousing” Palestinians in Gaza. TOI also noted that Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are omitted from Lynk’s report.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Meirav Eilon Shahar accused Lynk of promulgating “baseless and outrageous libels previously published by NGOs that share the same goal as the author of this report: to delegitimize and criminalize the State of Israel for what it is: the Nation State of the Jewish People, with equal rights for all its citizens, irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

Jewish groups also lambasted the report.

“AJC strongly rejects the biased findings of the UN Special Rapporteur’s libelous report on Israel,” the American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted. “Israel is a pluralistic democracy that ensures equal rights to all of its citizens. Bolstering [Amnesty International]’s baseless allegations does nothing to advance the cause of peace.” Amnesty had released a report in February that also accused Israel of apartheid, although The Jerusalem Post noted that Lynk’s report “will be posted on the UN’s internet and written into the [UN Human Rights Council] record.”

International Legal Forum CEO Arsen Ostrovsky similarly said in a statement, “The word ‘apartheid’ is mentioned over 100 times in this 18-page report, yet the words ‘Palestinian terror’ not once. Indeed, the Special Rapporteur, who went out of his way to defend Palestinian violence, in fact relied on evidence submitted by PFLP-affiliated terror groups Al-Haq and Addameer. Ultimately, like the reports that preceded it, including by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, this one too is a malicious manipulation of international law, divorced from reality and a gross distortion of truth, which deserves to be placed in the dustbin of antisemitic history.” Ostrovsky added that the report was released the “same day as four Israelis were murdered in a brutal terror attack in Beersheba, or as Russia is waging a devastating war against Ukraine in the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent memory, is indicative of the UN Human Rights Council’s perverse sense of priorities, in continuing to single out Israel for opprobrium and relentless obsession, over focusing on actual pressing human rights abuses around the world.”

NGO Monitor argued that Lynk’s report uses rhetoric “designed to portray Israel as greedy and cartoonishly wicked.” “The reader is told that Israeli measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons and military materiel into Gaza constitute a ‘medieval military blockade,’ and that Israel is a ‘covetous alien power’ that must ‘abandon the fever-dream of settler-colonialism and recognize the freedom of the indigenous people.’” Regarding Lynk’s “medieval military blockade” accusation, NGO Monitor argued that “Lynk ignores the terrorist organizations ruling and operating in Gaza, and the two decades of increasing rocket fire that they have directed at Israeli population centers – clear war crimes. No honest assessment of Israeli policy can whitewash the threat that Gaza-based terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad pose to Israeli citizens.”

Additionally, NGO Monitor argued that Lynk’s claim that a “prolonged occupation” of the West Bank is illegal under international law is false and that Lynk is following the trend of anti-Israel activists in attempting to redefine “occupation” into “apartheid.” NGO Monitor also noted that the difference in how the Israeli government treats Israelis and Palestinians isn’t based on race or ethnicity but on ‘citizens and non-citizens,’” “Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy greater freedom of movement in the West Bank than Israeli Jews, entering PA-controlled Area A to studyshoppurchase real estate, and for recreation,” the watchdog group added. “By contrast, Israeli law does not permit Israeli Jews to enter these areas, but this to protect their security rather than to segregate them on racial grounds.”

 

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