‘Gross Misrepresentation of Reality’: Israeli-Arabs Condemn Amnesty Report on Israel

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"Enough to Anti Semitism" – Yoseph Haddad, director of "BeYachad -- Aravim Zeh la-Zeh", speaks at the rally near The National Institutions Building in Jerusalem. The rally took place simultaneously with 60 other sites in the world, organized by The World Zionist Organization and expressed the concern at the surge in Anti Semitic acts in the world. Jerusalem, Mar 10, 2019. Photo by Esty Dziubov/TPS *** Local Caption *** ???? ?????? "?? ??????????" ????? ??????? ???????? ? ???????, ?????? ??- 60 ????? ????? ????? ?????, ?????? ???????? ??????? ??????? ????????? ???? ????? ????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????, ???"? ????? ???? – ????? ?? ???
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 2 February, 2022

Jerusalem, 2 February, 2022 (TPS) — Israeli Arabs and organizations working toward coexistence rejected and condemned the new report released by Amnesty in which it accused Israel of conducting an apartheid regime, saying its findings were “false and defamatory.”

Lorena Khateeb, an Israeli member of the Druze community and a social activist, said that “as an Israeli Arab citizen, I condemn Amnesty’s report. I grew up studying and working with Muslim Christians, Druze and Jews, we all put together the Israeli puzzle, despite the challenges, we enjoy equal rights and even work to fix what is not. This is what apartheid looks like?”

Yoseph Haddad, an Arab Israeli who served in the IDF and was wounded in combat, tweeted: “Amnesty – Who are you to decide that we live under an apartheid regime? You have no idea about the reality in Israel.”

“Stop the lies, and stop promoting your agenda on my back and the back of Israeli Arab society!” he demanded. “Amnesty Internasional has already broken the record for hypocrisy, but to compare Israel to an apartheid regime is not only a distorted lie but an insult to all those South Africans who actually lived through apartheid. It is contempt for and cynical exploitation of the concept.”

The “Together Vouch for Each Other” organization, which promotes coexistence in Israel, stated that “as an Israeli Arab NGO, we condemn Amnesty International’s false and defamatory report. We are Israeli Arabs who live, study and make a living here, we are all an integral part of the society and enjoy equal rights.”

“We are working to correct what needs to be corrected from within, but to say that Israel is apartheid is a gross misrepresentation of the reality and an insult to those who suffered under apartheid in South Africa. This is an accusation that we collectively and categorically reject. We call on Amnesty International to stop advancing their anti-Israel agenda on our backs,” the organization said.

Vouch for Each Other, was founded in 2018 by a group of young Israeli Arabs – Christians, Muslims, Bedouin and Druze, who felt determined to bring about change in the Israeli-Arab sector and adopt a positive direction vis-à-vis Israeli society and the country.

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D, NY) likewise stated that “calling Israel an apartheid state, as Amnesty has done, is a lie.”

“The hysterical demonization of Israel will do nothing to alleviate Palestinian suffering. It will only incite hatred for the world’s largest Jewish community amid violent Antisemitism,” he warned.

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