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Statement on HRW report

The Zionist Federation of Australia expressed deep concerns following the release of the Human Rights Watch report, ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “By distorting the meaning of apartheid to fit its anti-Israel agenda, Human Rights Watch has betrayed the memory of the victims of Apartheid and weakened the necessary fight against racism wherever it appears in the world. Human Rights Watch and all its backers should be ashamed of themselves.”

On 27 April 2021, Human Rights Watch released a report in which it accused Israel of perpetrating apartheid against Palestinians. The report is littered with mistruths and selective facts. It sidesteps the fact that all Israeli citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, have equal rights, and equal access to an interventionist judiciary to ensure those rights are protected.

NGO Monitor has compiled an analysis of the HRW report, finding it continues its decades-long anti-Israel agenda, and that the report’s author is a long-time activist in anti-Israel activities.

The Human Rights Watch report suggests that Israeli security actions are designed to advance its “demographic agenda”. Israeli security considerations in the West Bank and around Gaza are not and never have been based on racial or ethnic considerations. They are based on the desire for Israel to protect its citizens. Palestinians in the West Bank are not Israeli citizens. Ironically, if Israel were to apply Israeli law to Palestinians, Human Rights Watch would condemn Israel for annexing the West Bank.

Mr Leibler concluded, “This report results in a great stain on Human Rights Watch’s reputation. Enemies of the State of Israel will delight in this report. But people who have a genuine interest in Palestinian self-determination will realise that this report makes that process harder, by rewarding with silence the true oppressors of Palestinian rights.”