US rejects ‘apartheid’ label for Israel but SA activists say it’s a shameful cover-up

The US says it cannot accept an Amnesty International report which accuses Israel of punishing Palestinians with apartheid policies, but millions feel otherwise, reports Al Qalam.

The United States yesterday rejected the view that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians constitute apartheid as alleged by the latest Amnesty International Report, but Iqbal Jassat, a Director of the Media Review Network in Johannesburg told Al Qalam the US response comes as no surprise.

The State Department immediate rejection of the Report came after a blistering Amnesty International accused Israeli authorities of enforcing apartheid policies against the Palestinian people, according to Reuters.

“(The US)… rejected the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid. The Department’s own reports have never used such terminology,” State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, told reporters.

But, Iqbal Jassat, a director of the activist group, Media Review Network told Al Qalam: We are not surprised that the Biden administration has opted to discredit the AI report. As the main bulwark of support for the settler colonial regime, the US is directly complicit in Israel’s crimes of Apartheid. 

“AI report is a professional document embodying extensive research and collation of facts over a number of years. To dismiss it out of hand as the US state department has done is a blatant disregard for International Laws and the Geneva Convention. 

“America is aware that the findings impact on its policy especially in the manner it has shielded Israeli war crimes, illegal settlements and ethnic cleansing, in various fora, but more particularly at the UN SECURITY Council. 

“It is shameful and tragic that America, despite being guilty of aiding and abetting Israeli Apartheid, a fact known by the rest of the world, including of course by Palestinians themselves, seeks to undermine the AI report, yet hypocritically imposes itself as the world’s policeman. 

“Rejecting the report reinforces America’s anti-Palestinian racism!

Meanwhile, on the question of the US stance, Price, the State Department spokesman said “(we) think that it is important, as the world’s only Jewish State, that the Jewish people must not be denied their right to self-determination, and we must ensure there isn’t a double standard being applied.”

Amnesty’s accusation was leveled against Israel both within its borders and in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In a report unveiled in Jerusalem, the group did not directly compare Israel to apartheid South Africa, but said it was evaluating Israel’s policies based on international conventions.

“The USA, the European Union and its member states and the UK, but also those states that are in the process of strengthening their ties — such as some Arab and African states… must recognize that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid and other international crimes,” read the report.

Amnesty called on those actors to “use all political and diplomatic tools to ensure Israeli authorities implement the recommendations outlined in this report and review any cooperation and activities with Israel to ensure that these do not contribute to maintaining the system of apartheid.”

Ahead of the report’s release, Israel called it “false, biased, and anti-Semitic” and accused the organization of endangering the safety of Jews around the world. The rights group released the document despite calls from Israel to not do so.

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