Photo Credit: AMCHA Initiative
“Israeli Apartheid Week,” an annual global anti-Israel showcase on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles, May 2010

There is a worthy antidote to the latest publication produced by Amnesty International (AI), which is a humanitarian watchdog organization turned political propagandist, at least where Israel is concerned. Here an entire report is devoted to arguing that Israel is an apartheid state.

First let us look at an important aspect of the “report” without critiquing content (so many have done that already, as a simple Internet search will show). AI claims to have produced a thoroughly researched, almost scholarly report: On page 39, introducing their methodology section, they write:

This report builds on decades of Amnesty International desk and field research collecting testimonies and evidence of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Israel and the OPT, and on publications by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights and humanitarian organizations in addition to academic studies, monitoring by grassroots activist groups, reports by UN agencies, experts and human rights bodies, and media articles.

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However, upon examination of their citations, the pro-Israel organization, Im Tirtzu found that almost 80% of the NGOs cited in the AI report were anti-Israel Israeli organizations that received a total of $105,209,347 (NIS 337,553,677) from foreign governments since 2012.

Throughout the 280-page report, 26 NGOs (16 Israeli and 10 non-Israeli) were cited 597 times out of the total 1559 citations in the report.

Of the 597 citations, 461 of them (77%) came from controversial Israeli NGOs that receive extensive funding from foreign governments.

The most cited Israeli NGO was B’Tselem (98 citations), which itself published a report last year accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, followed by Adalah (83) and Ir Amim (44). It should be noted that none of these organizations have been approved by the Israeli government for providing tax exemptions for donors. This is perhaps remarkable in the case of B’Tselem and Adalah given that they advertise themselves as human rights organizations, but they are, in fact, political. Furthermore, Adalah is noted on the NGO registry as not having provided documents showing proper management of the organization.

The most cited non-Israeli NGOs were Al-Haq (34 citations), which was designated as a terrorist group by Israel in October 2021, Human Rights Watch (34), Norwegian Refugee Council (23), and Al Mezan (12). Addameer, which like Al-Haq was designated as a terror group by Israel, was also cited 10 times.

According to Im Tirtzu‘s report, the Israeli NGOs cited in the report are heavily funded by foreign governments and foreign government entities.

Since 2012, the largest recipient of foreign government funding is B’Tselem with $19,432,237 (NIS 62,346,393), followed by Yesh Din with $15,201,109 (NIS 48,771,240), HaMoked with $11,981,150 (NIS 38,440,323), and Gisha with $10,287,840 (NIS 33,007,507).

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg remarked that:

Amnesty‘s report is merely another anti-Israel hit job made possible by foreign governments who employ radical anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs to spearhead their attack on Israel.

Israeli decision makers must understand that the phenomenon of massive foreign government funding is a real threat to Israel’s continued existence. No other country would be willing to allow foreign government-funded organizations to operate with impunity in its territory while slandering and calling to prosecute its soldiers, promoting international pressure against it, calling to boycott its products, and providing legal defense to terrorists and their families.

It is not new to claim that Israel is an apartheid state saying that those living in villages in Judea-Samaria and East Jerusalem cannot vote in Israel’s elections. However, they are not citizens of Israel but citizens of the Palestinian Authority and vote in the latter’s elections when such are held. Since when is such a thing apartheid?

Amnesty International goes a step further than any other organization has gone so far – they claim that apartheid exists even within the so-called internationally recognized pre-1967 “borders” (actually an armistice line) of Israel. There are plenty who have spoken up in ire against such a false accusation, not only Jews in Israel and around the world, but also Israeli-Druze citizen Lorena Khateeb, Palestinian peace activist Bassem Eid, Israeli-Arab NGO Together Vouch for Each Other, and more.

Will all the noise and countless articles deriding the AI report,  make any impact at all? On world opinion regarding Israel? On how the UN votes when Israel is on the agenda? Not likely. A new approach is needed.

David Suissa of the Jewish Journal has come up with a novel idea for a new organization that might make much more noise than any pro-Israeli hasbara so far devised. He writes:

Condemnations are no longer enough. The world needs an organization called Justice International to investigate so-called human rights groups who consistently single out and discriminate against the world’s only Jewish state.
We must investigate the investigators.

I hope to see the inauguration of Justice International in the very near future.

 

{Reposted from the author’s blog}

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Sheri Oz, owner of www.israeldiaries.com, is a retired family therapist exploring mutual interactions between politics and Israeli society.