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

On February 1, Amnesty International intends to release a new 211-page report vilifying the State of Israel as a proponent of apartheid: “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity.

The watchdog organization NGO Monitor, which received advance copies of the publication, called the report “another volume in the litany of copy-paste NGO reports that label Israel as an “apartheid” state,” and said the publication breaks no new ground and is not meaningfully different from the discredited Human Rights Watch (HRW) and B’Tselem reports from 2021.


The organization’s exclusive analysis highlights the salient flaws in Amnesty’s publication, which largely repeats the claims made by Human Rights Watch and other NGOs in 2021.

Amnesty International’s campaign is not merely a critique of Israeli policies, but amplifies attacks on the legitimacy of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, regardless of its borders, through the abuse of international law, NGO Monitor said, adding that Amnesty uses its report to vilify Jews and spread antisemitic tropes, such as “Jewish domination.”

NGO Monitor’s ‘False Knowledge as Power – Deconstructing Definitions of Power that Delegitimize the Jewish State’

Over the past two years, the NGO network has systematically exploited the term “apartheid” in discourse on Israel, NGO Monitor said. “Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and others promote manufactured definitions of apartheid that have no legal foundations in order to lobby for International Criminal Court cases against Israel.”

The NGO apartheid campaign is also directed at the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, initiated after the May 2021 violence in Israel and Gaza, the watchdog organization warned.

Report: NGOs Intensify Apartheid Demonization Campaign

In December 2021, NGO Monitor published an analysis of the definition of apartheid, addressing the international legal vacuum surrounding the term. This, and a follow-up analysis is scheduled to be published in February, disprove the claims of those, such as Amnesty, who use distorted and invented legal definitions.

Professor Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, said, “For 20 years, Amnesty International has been a leader in NGO campaigns to demonize Israel, based on twisting and exploiting the evils of the South African apartheid regime in order to promote hatred. This false and immoral agenda singling out the nation-state of the Jewish people is a major cause of 21st century antisemitism, and is the polar opposite of the universal principles embodied in real human rights. This campaign is also a betrayal of everything that Peter Benenson, the founder of Amnesty, stood for.”

The organization’s Legal Adviser, Anne Herzberg, added, “Amnesty’s report offers nothing new to the discussion. It is simply part of the discriminatory and offensive campaign launched in 2021, by NGOs like HRW and B’Tselem, which is based on invented law and discriminatory tropes from a century’s worth of antisemitic propaganda. It is clearly timed to exploit lawfare initiatives at the dictator-run UN Human Rights Council such as the Commission of Inquiry on the 2021 conflict.”

Condemnations Abound
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat called the impending report “pure antisemitism,” accusing AI of a double standard. “The purpose of this report is to eliminate the State of Israel as a nation-state of the Jewish people, and the solution they give is for Israel to cease to exist,” he said.

“Its extremist language and distortion of historical context were designed to demonize Israel and pour fuel onto the fire of antisemitism,” he added.

The foreign ministry spokesperson pointed to Israel’s current government coalition as an example of the diversity of Israeli society and its respect for its citizens, regardless of religion or cultural background.

The US-based Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations joined together with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Jewish Federation of North America — as well as other groups — to condemn the report, calling it baseless.

“The report commits a double injustice,” the joint statement said. “It fuels those antisemites around the world who seek to undermine the only Jewish country on earth, while simultaneously cheapening and downplaying the horrific suffering that was a result of apartheid in South Africa.”

Israel Calls on Amnesty Not to Release Report
The State of Israel has called on Amnesty International not to publish the upcoming report.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement issued Monday that Amnesty is “just another radical organization which echoes propaganda without seriously checking the facts” and that it “echoes the same lies” shared by terrorist organizations.

“Israel isn’t perfect but we are a democracy committed to international law, open to criticism, with a free press and a strong and independent judicial system.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.