Sunday, January 30, 2022

Amnesty International is set to release a report this week that parrots Human Rights Watch's report of last year accusing Israel of apartheid.

As we have seen, HRW had to take bits and pieces of different international conventions to try to pretend that Israel's treatment of non-citizen Palestinians somehow fits under the definition of apartheid. Their main evidence that apartheid applies to groups beyond racial groups came from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which did expand the definition of "racial discrimination" to include discrimination against national groups - but HRW did not quote the next paragraph of the ICERD which explicitly says "This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens."

Clearly, HRW was twisting the definition of apartheid in ways it was never meant to be defined, as the bulk of its arguments are based on how Israel makes distinctions between Israeli citizens and non-citizens, not between Jews and Arabs. 

Every nation on Earth gives fewer rights to non-citizens. 

I have seen a copy of Amnesty's embargoed report, and for the most part its arguments have the exact same flaws as HRW's. But they came up with another definition of apartheid under international law they claim says that discriminating against "national origin" is also apartheid.

And this definition is just as much a lie as  HRW's.

Amnesty's report  says:
The public international law prohibition of apartheid is best found in an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice relating to South Africa’s presence in Namibia (Namibia case), where the violation is defined as “distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights”.
Wow! The ICJ defined apartheid in 1971? This changes everything!

Except that the phrase quoted by Amnesty says nothing about defining apartheid.

Here is what it says:
130. It is undisputed, and is amply supported by documents annexed to South Africa's written statement in these proceedings, that the official governmental policy pursued by South Africa in Namibia is to achieve a complete physical separation of races and ethnic groups in separate areas within the Territory. ...
131. Under the Charter of the United Nations, the former Mandatory had pledged itself to observe and respect, in a territory having an international status, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race. To establish instead, and to enforce, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights is a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter. 

International law did not define the crime of apartheid in 1971. This ruling did not try to define apartheid in any sense.  South Africa freely admitted it had a policy of apartheid. The entire question before the IJC was whether South Africa's policies in Namibia were a violation of the UN Charter. 

Just like HRW, Amnesty realized that the definitions of apartheid under international law do not apply to Israel, so they must grab whatever half-truths they can find and claim that the Frankenstein monster of connecting parts from the Rome Statute, the Apartheid Convention (which only say "racial discrimination" similar to that of South Africa), the ICERD (which excludes non-citizens from its expanded definition of "racial discrimination,") and now the ICJ Namibia Case (which does not define apartheid nor racial discrimination in any sense.)

Amnesty is lying - and they know it.








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