Monday, July 12, 2021

  • Monday, July 12, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

At the Blog of the European Journal of International Law there was an online symposium on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid as claimed by Human Rights Watch. Some of the articles are technical, suggesting that HRW conflated international law with human rights law which have two different intentions and definitions, or that apartheid itself may not be a crime against humanity under customary international law. 

Eugene Kontorovich offers a number of reasons why the HRW report is fatally flawed and agenda driven, and HRW's response ignores most of his points, instead arguing that it never said that Israel was an "apartheid state" but rather a state that practices apartheid as policy - as if that distinction refutes his solid criticisms.

I looked again at HRW's April report making the claim of apartheid, and saw another reason to prove that the report is based on fitting the evidence to the crime rather than actually taking an honest evaluation of Israeli actions. This one example is enough to prove that  the report is 217 pages of propaganda rather than a sober analysis.

To sustain Jewish Israeli control, Israeli authorities have adopted policies aimed at mitigating what they have openly described as a demographic “threat” that Palestinians pose. Those policies include limiting the population and political power of Palestinians, granting the right to vote only to Palestinians who live within the borders of Israel as they existed from 1948 to June 1967, and limiting the ability of Palestinians to move to Israel from the OPT and from anywhere else to Israel or the OPT. 
The highlighted section is a blatant lie. 

There are thousands of Israeli Arabs who live outside the Green Line.

There are Arab citizens of Israel who have moved across the Green Line to the southern part of Beit Safafa in Jerusalem, across the Green Line. 

There are Arab citizens of Israel who moved to Beit Hanina, a wealthy neighborhood across the Green Line. 

About 1000 residents of the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem, across the Green Line, are Arabs.

Hundreds of Arab families live in the "Jewish settlements" of Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Yaakov. Many if not most of them are Israeli citizens.

And there are thousands of Arabs in Jerusalem who have become Israeli citizens.

Every Arab citizen who lives across the Green Line can vote in Israeli elections, just as every Jew can.

Human Rights Watch purposefully lies and says that only Jews living across the Green Line have the right to vote in Israel, not Arabs. They use this lie as a key piece of evidence of  how Israel treats Jews and Arabs differently. But the fact is that Israel gives the exact same rights to Arab citizens of Israel as to Jewish citizens of Israel, and the only distinction is citizenship, not religion or peoplehood. All one can say is that Israel - like every nation on the planet - treats citizens differently from non-citizens.

HRW is lying about a basic feature of Israel's laws and it twists laws that treat Jews and Arabs equally into one that discriminates against Arabs. 

This one lie is enough to invalidate the report as a whole. If HRW deliberately misrepresents the truth here, then one cannot trust any of its research or assertions in the report altogether. 

It is not an innocent mistake. HRW knows the truth.

Later on in the report, HRW admits:
Palestinians in Israel are citizens who have the right to vote in national elections, unlike Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem (except for the small minority of Palestinian Jerusalemites who have applied for and been granted Israeli citizenship).
That parenthetical remark, which refers to another several thousand Arabs across the Green Line who have Israeli citizenship, show that HRW is indeed aware that there are Israeli Arab citizens across the Green Line  - showing that it knowingly lied in the passage quoted earlier. The report's authors are quite aware that Israel distinguishes between citizens and non-citizens, not between Arab and Jew, on voting rights. 

Similarly, HRW writes "Jewish Israelis living in all parts of Jerusalem also vote in both municipal and national elections" implying that only Jewish Israelis have that right, immediately after obfuscating the fact there are, indeed, Arab citizens in Jerusalem who have the exact same rights. The paragraph above that quote says "A path to citizenship exists for Palestinian Jerusalemite residents, but the vast majority have chosen not to pursue it." HRW admits, but tries to hide the fact, that thousands have successfully become citizens and have equal rights.

These are not innocent mistakes - HRW's language proves that it knows the facts and is purposefully giving the impression of  legal discrimination against Arabs. 

The only reason HRW would do this is because the organization has no interest in the truth, but in promoting an anti-Israel agenda. The truth disproves "apartheid" which is why HRW is hiding or obscuring the truth.


Another proof of HRW's disregard to the truth: The report refers multiple times to "pre-1967 borders" that never existed. The Green Line was the armistice line drawn in 1949 that was explicitly not defined as borders. For a report that pretends to make a legal argument, HRW plays very fast and loose with language that has legal definitions. This is again deliberate, because using accurate language would prove that Israel has a legal claim to the land across the Green Line so HRW chooses language to diminish Israel's rights. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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