Nabil Amr
Palestinian writer and politician

Amnesty Exposes…Some in Washington Cover-up

Israel is an apartheid state. That is the conclusion Amnesty International reached based on irrefutable facts, and no Israeli government has a reasonable argument against Amnesty’s categorization.

What Israel is doing in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and even within its state, which is home to two million Arabs, removes much of the burden off of “untamed” international institutions. They don’t have to work very hard to prove the racism of the state and political system. There is no equality within Israel, a fact the state recognizes. The millions it occupies by force of arms have no rights; Israel sees them as mere de facto residents who can suffice with standing on the edge between life and death forever, and it is working to ensure they live under this state of affairs eternally.

Two equally dangerous matters are remarkable. The first is that the Israelis’ reaction to independent international bodies pointing out its continuous violations of Palestinian human rights never changes. Indeed, they are no longer mere violations; they have become a deliberate and long-term policy of the Jewish state and its political system.

The headline and details of Israel’s automatic reaction are to say that any international institution criticizing Israel, no matter what it does, is hostile and anti-Semitic. This overlooks the fact that in Israel itself, there are institutions, writers, opinion-makers, and even parties that speak out more aggressively than Amnesty International- reports by the Israeli NGO B’Tselem and articles by Gideon Levy and others, whom Israel does not dare label anti-Semites.

The other remarkable matter is the US reaction, which offered a more forceful defense of Israel than the Jewish state itself.

While the Americans pay the bills for their pampered ally, which is granted leniency denied to all countries and permitted to blatantly and obnoxiously violate the most basic international ethical and legal rules, they also acknowledge Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. However, they objected to the categorization.

When Amnesty International published its report, the US State Department released a statement on what Secretary of State Blinken told the Palestinian president in which the former stresses that the administration is opposed to what Israel is doing against the Palestinians. It pointed to settlements, attacks on Palestinian areas, killings, home demolitions, violations of property, and many, many other actions it stood against. The story of the Palestinian-American senior, Omar Asaad, is still fresh and being discussed, even in the US itself.

Amnesty International called on the world to do something to stop Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinians’ most basic rights, and it called on Israel to end its racist policies, that is, against those who have the Israeli nationality and those whose land it occupies, land that the people of the world know as Palestinian land and a people known as the Palestinians.

It is a conscientious moral, legal and humanitarian call that could be headed by anyone except those guarding the Israeli regime and its permanent allies who nurture its racist policies, though we cannot deny that in both Israel and America, some condemn and oppose its dehumanizing policies.

Amnesty International’s reports embody the eternal conflict between man’s conscience, which rejects injustice, oppression, and violations of rights, and the powerful, who consider the conscience to be a naive ploy that has no place in the world of force, especially brute force. That is perhaps the keyword for all of humanity’s suffering.