On 27th April Human Rights Watch (HRW) released its report entitled “A Threshold Crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”. It is 213-page litany of accusations and complaints. It portrays the Jewish State of Israel as an inherently apartheid state whose sole purpose is to persecute the Palestinians. According to HRW, Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity – apartheid and persecution. All Israeli laws showing preference to Jews must be abolished. Israel’s leaders should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, and Israel should be subject to international condemnation, isolation and sanctions.
What clearly most offends the writers of this report is that Israel dares to be a Jewish State – a homeland for the Jewish people. How dare the Jews claim a homeland of their own? How dare the Jews be a Jewish people?
The report comes as no surprise. For decades, since the 1970’s the claim that “Zionism = Racism” has remained etched in the minds of many who refuse to accept the existence of the Jewish people. The Palestinian leadership has made an art form of rejectionism. Endless missed opportunities. It’s always Israel’s fault.
Just like many of its predecessors, that have relegated to the dustbin of history, this report is full of black-and-white generalizations, one-sided assertions, and a broad smattering of blatant falsifications. It reflects more the growing modern trend that divides history conveniently into “victims” and “perpetrators”, claims all suffering must be the fault of the other, and demands justice.
There is not one word even suggesting the slightest possibility that the Palestinians themselves, or their brothers and sisters in the Arab world, share responsibility for their dire situation. Nothing about the Holocaust, the Grand Mufti’s alliance with Hitler, the 1948 attack on Israel by the Arab states, the subsequent attempts to exterminate the Jewish State, the intifada’s or Arafat’s rejection of Barak’s offer in 2000. To mention just a few.
Tragically, the report not only misrepresents who the Jewish people are and what the Jewish State is all about, it also ignores the many examples of Jewish/Arab cooperation in Israel, the Arab Israeli’s who work hard to make Israel a success, and those Palestinians who do not blame Israel for their sufferings.
Human Rights Watch has missed the opportunity to use human rights to make a real difference. It is doing both the Palestinian people and the human rights movement a great disservice, thereby undermining any credibility it may have had.
As Psalm 126 reminds us (below), the restoration of the fortunes of the Jewish people brings great joy and blessing – to both the Jews and all who live in the land. Imagine what blessings will flow when Israel’s detractors decide to accept the Jewish people, instead of cursing them! (The recent Abraham Accords between Israel and a number of Arab/Islamic states give a taste of what that acceptance looks like, and the many blessings that flow from it).
The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today
Read the HRW report: click here..