Weeks after the International Criminal Court disclosed that it would investigate war crimes in Palestinian territories, Human Rights Watch published a 200+ page report that accused Israel of persecuting Palestinians. The report claims that some of Israel’s policies constitute apartheid.
“Across Israel and the (Palestinian territories), Israeli authorities have pursued an intent to maintain domination over Palestinians by exercising control over land and demographics for the benefit of Jewish Israelis,” the report reads.
“On this basis, the report concludes that Israeli officials have committed the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” as defined under the 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute.
But the Embassy of Israel to the United States denies all the claims in the report.
“We strongly reject the false accusations that Human Rights Watch is spreading about Israel,” the embassy said in a comment to this reporter. “Their decision not to share this report for review or seek comment with any Israeli authority is a clear indication that it is a propaganda pamphlet lacking all credibility. This report is filled with lies that have no connection to facts or the reality on the ground and as such we do not intend to address it.”
The embassy also discredited the report because of Omar Shakir’s involvement. Shakir is the Israel and Palestine Director for the HRW and they say he is “a well-known BDS supporter, whose working visa in Israel was not extended after he was found to be involved in promoting anti-Israel boycotts.”
In 2017, Israel denied Shakir’s visa. Then, in 2019 Israel High Court of Justice threw out Shakir’s appeal over the matter.
In response to the Embassy’s statement, Human Rights Watch told this reporter after this story was first published, that while it is true Shakir was denied a visa, he and the organization do not support BDS.
“It is true that Israel deported Omar Shakir, our Israel-Palestine director. They claim he supported BDS, which he did not, and neither does Human Rights Watch. So in short, he does not have a visa, that is true. But he did not promote BDS.”
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PA President Abbas pushes ‘institutionalized anti-Semitism’ against Jews
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while in Germany and standing next to German chancellor Olaf Scholz, accused Israel of committing “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians. This follows a long tradition of Abbas’ anti-Semitic statements on the Holocaust. In 2018, Abbas accused Jews of being “subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years…not because of their religion, but rather their social behavior related to usury and banks.” In 2015, Abbas also stated that “[i]f they [Jews] say they made sacrifices in World War II, and we respect what they say, they should not treat us the way they were treated [by the Nazis].” And in his 1984 book, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism, Abbas stated that “We find that Zionists believe in the purity of the Jewish race, as Hitler believed in the purity of the Aryan race.”
Such anti-Semitism runs rampant in the Palestinian Authority (PA). PA political figures and press have consistently defamed Israel by comparing it to Nazi Germany to brainwash the Palestinian population against reconciliation and normalization with the Jewish state. Since 2021 alone, there have been ample examples of the PA using such drivel in their propaganda machine. This is part of a much larger, institutionalized anti-Semitism embedded in Palestinian nationalism itself.
Claim #1: Israel, Israelis are Nazi Germany, Nazis
PA media and political figures liken Israel to Nazi Germany, and Israelis to Nazis. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub called “Zionism and this racist fascist occupation” “the ugly face of Nazism,” and called Israelis “the new Nazis who are working to eliminate the Palestinian people.” The Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida has accused Israel of “carrying out the Hitleresque holocaust anew against the Palestinian Arab people and the peoples of the Arab world.” Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also stated that, regarding Jewish violence against Arabs in the May 2021 riots in Israel, that “Israel has repeated Kristallnacht.” [The reality was that Jewish violence against Arabs was widely condemned in Israel and paled in comparison to Arab violence against Jews during that same time.] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also stated that “Israel is becoming a state most similar to Nazi Germany.”
Claim #2: Israel’s Leadership are Nazis
PA media and political figures also liken Israel’s leaders to Nazis. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub calledNetanyahu “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler.” A political cartoon on the website of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture portrays Benjamin Netanyahu dressed as Hitler giving a Nazi-salute with a blood-drenched hand with the caption “Adolf Netanyahu.” A host on PA TV stated that “What Eichmann did to the Jews in Austria, they’re doing- [Israeli Parliament Member] Naftali Bennett is doing to us, exactly. They have copied the experience.”
Claim #3: Israel’s Prisons Are Nazi Death Camps
Lastly, PA media and political figures also liken Israel’s prison system to the Nazi death camps and crematoria. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub called Israeli prisons “an identical copy of Auschwitz and the death camps.” PA Shari’ah Judge Nasser Al-Qirem referred to Israel’s prisons as the “Nazi occupation’s bastilles.” The Official PA dailyAl-Hayat Al-Jadida accused Israel of carrying out crimes against Palestinian civilians similar to “Hitler’s Nazi detention camps,” and earlier had stated that Israel’s “detention camps have become most similar to the Nazi crematoriums.”
Abbas’ statement that Israel has committed “50 holocausts” against the Palestinian people should not be surprising, given that Abbas has made similar anti-Semitic statements for years. The Palestinian Authority in turn, through various political figures and its press propagate similar statements. Coupled with other anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and even jihadi comments, the Biden administration should not further accommodate the PA, nor seek to join it in the Abraham Accords.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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