In a report released by the international rights advocate, Human Rights Watch, Israel is allegedly guilty of international crimes, apartheid, and persecution.
The 213 page report which has just been released focussed on the International Criminal Court’s definitions of “apartheid” and “persecution” according to AP News.
Human Rights Watch stated Israel has: “demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”, furthermore Human Rights Watch describes the policies of Israel as “inhumane acts” and declares there to be “systematic oppression”
To support their case, Human Rights Watch cited cases in “occupied territories” such as land confiscation, home demolition, and denial of building permits, alongside: “sweeping, decades-long restrictions on freedom of movement and basic human rights.”.
However, there are questions to the validity of these claims. The Jewish Virtual Library offers some key facts against the claims.
The report also claims within Israel itself there are systemic difficulties such as the denial of rights, or housing permit denials, etc. Israel offers a sweeping amount of equal rights for all citizens, such as voting rights for women, including Arab women, making it one of the only places in the region where Arab women can vote. Furthermore, it is also known that since its creation, Israel has increased the number of Arab schools in the hundreds as Arabic is one of the official languages of Israel.
In terms of land buying, 92% of Israel is owned by the government, and the remaining 8% is private. This isn’t leased in systemically oppressive deals, in fact, there is land owned by the Arab Waqf, which is for the sole use of Muslims in the area.
AP News writes that Israel’s Foreign Ministry has denied the report, claiming the group has always had a bias against Israel. The following is a statement from the Foreign Ministry: “The fictional claims that HRW concocted are both preposterous and false.”
Eugene Kontorovich is the Director of International Law at the Think Tank: Kohelet Policy Forum. He has made comments on the whole Israel-Palestine conflict, and has made several remarks on the report. Kontorovich states: “Why say it’s apartheid? Why not just say Israel has some discriminatory policies that we don’t like?” he said. “Because for discriminatory policies, what do you do? You change the policies. … What do you do with an apartheid regime? You have to replace it”
Human Rights Watch does not have a position on what the end result of peace talks should look like, according to AP News.