US Ambassador to Israel and State Department spokesman reject “terminology” used by Amnesty International in report charging that Israel is an apartheid state.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides rejected the findings of an Amnesty International report categorizing Israel as an apartheid state on Tuesday, expressing his displeasure with the text via Twitter.
“Come on, this is absurd,” Nides wrote, replying to an AP tweet about the report. “That is not language that we have used and will not use.”
Nides’ sentiments were echoed by another Biden administration official, State Department spokesman Ned Price, who spoke about the report with the media on Tuesday evening.
“We reject the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid. The department’s own reports have never used such terminology,” Price said.
Although Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a recent phone call that the U.S. is committed to reopening a de facto Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem and is against settlement activity and the demolitions of terrorists’ homes, the Biden administration has called out the U.N. for its biased targeting of Israel.
The 280-page report, written by Amnesty’s UK branch, said Israel treats Palestinians, both those living in PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria as well as Arabs with Israeli citizenship, as second class citizens.
The report, subtitled “Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity,” charges that Israel is guilty of the “crime of apartheid against Palestinians” and called on the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo against the Jewish State.
Additionally, Amnesty maintains, the international community should level “targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes, against Israeli officials most implicated in the crime of apartheid.”
“The report denies the State of Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people. Its extremist language and distortion of historical context were designed to demonize Israel and pour fuel onto the fire of antisemitism,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry responded in a statement.
“The State of Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy that grants all its citizens equal rights, regardless of religious or race. The State of Israel was established as the national home of the Jewish people with broad international support, in light of the lessons of the Holocaust.
“Amnesty criticizes the very existence of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and effectively denies its right to exist at all.”