Jews from Across the Globe Welcome Amnesty Report on Israeli Apartheid
The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine, which represents Jewish organizations in thirteen countries including Aotearoa-New Zealand, views the recent report by Amnesty International on Israel’s system of apartheid as a a serious wake-up call to the world. The full text of the IJCJP statement appears below.
After four years of investigation, Amnesty International has joined Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and others in concluding that Israel operates a “system which amounts to apartheid under international law.” Full text of the report is here, with a short video tutorial here.
Why is this report different? Amnesty is the world’s largest human rights organisation. When Amnesty International calls on nations to respond to apartheid with the force of law and diplomacy, it speaks with unrivaled moral authority. Amnesty has called for UN Security Council sanctions against Israeli officials, investigations by the International Criminal Court and an arms embargo of Israel.
Amnesty International is also a membership organisation. This landmark report will mobilise many Amnesty members and followers to actively support Palestinians’ full individual and collective rights.
The Amnesty International report thus brings the apartheid discourse firmly into the mainstream and the highest diplomatic circles.
And what is not different? The NZ Jewish Council issued a statement calling Amnesty International antisemitic. The statement failed entirely to engage with Amnesty’s findings, and instead tried to change the subject. Nothing new there.
Alternative Jewish Voices has this week written about the intersection of Aotearoa’s Jewish and Evangelical Zionism and conservative secular politics. Overlapping directorships bring views to the Jewish Council that are far from the mainstream. We have documented some of the implications, seeking more transparency among the voices which might be assumed to represent the entire Jewish community.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Global Jews Welcome Amnesty Report on Israeli Apartheid
The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine, which represents Jewish organizations from fifteen countries around the globe, views the recent report by Amnesty International on Israel’s system of apartheid as a a serious wake-up call to the world.
The Amnesty report is the result of years of painstaking investigation showing decisively that the Israeli government has privileged Jewish Israelis in every sphere of life over Palestinian citizens and residents in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Joining other human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem, the report echoes what Palestinians have been saying for decades in every forum they can find: that the outrageous violations of the human rights of Palestinians must stop.
The Amnesty report, as well as other critical reports on Israel’s apartheid system, can best be understood within a context of the broader Palestinian-led movement for justice against settler colonialism that began before and during Israel’s creation in 1948. At that time, the Zionist movement and then Israel expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their land and homes. This is known as the Nakba, the catastrophe. The process of ethnic cleansing continues to this very day.
Yet again, attacks by the Israeli government and some Jewish organizations are calling the report “antisemitic,” but these critics should be pressed to provide evidence supporting their claims. This will not be possible, since the report reflects the truth. Palestinians have lived under Israel’s apartheid system for decades. As Jews, we have seen these Israeli policies in action with our own eyes and know they are in complete defiance of the long-standing Jewish tradition of social justice.
We will continue to stand firm with the Palestinian movement for freedom, justice, equality, and dignity.
The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine
a coalition of organizations from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, US