Tell Me What’s Untrue in Amnesty’s Report on Israel

By Gideon Levy

As the curses and screeches subside – Amnesty are antisemites, the report is full of lies, the methodology is absurd – one must ask: What, precisely, is incorrect in the apartheid report?

Was Israel not founded on an explicit policy of maintaining Jewish demographic hegemony, while reducing the number of Palestinians within its boundaries? Yes or no? True or false? Does this policy not exist to this day? Yes or no? True or false? Does Israel not maintain a regime of oppression and control of Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories for the benefit of Israeli Jews? Yes or no? True or false? Do the rules of engagement with Palestinians not reflect a policy of shoot to kill, or at least maim? Yes or no? True or false? Are the evictions of Palestinians from their homes and the denial of construction permits not part of Israeli policy? Yes or no? True or false?

Is Sheikh Jarrah not apartheid? Is the nation-state law not apartheid? And the denial of family reunification? And the unrecognized villages? And the “Judaization”? Is there a single sphere, in Israel or the territories, in which there is true, absolute equality, except in name?

To read the report is to despair. It’s everything we knew, but condensed. Yet no despair or remorse was felt in Israel. Most of the media marginalized and blurred it, and the hasbara choir batted it away. The propaganda minister, Yair Lapid, recited his lines and went on the attack even before the report was published. Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai was quick to follow. The international report has yet to be born that Israel won’t denounce while neglecting to respond to a single point it makes. One organization after another, some of them important and honest, call it apartheid, and Israel says: antisemitism.

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