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B’Tselem identifies Israel as First ‘apartheid regime’

Israel’s elite human rights group described Israel as a “apartheid regime” for the first time, sparking fierce controversy over the words that Israeli leaders have strongly rejected.

B’Tselem, a prominent rights organization, said in a report on Tuesday that Israel could not be democratic while it continued to occupy Palestinian territory.

“It’s a regime between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, and we have to look at the big picture and see what it is: apartheid,” the group’s executive director, Hagai El-Ad, said in a statement.

Palestinian workers line up to cross a checkpoint at the entrance to Israel̵
7;s Ma’ale Adumim settlement near Jerusalem in June.
Oded Balilty / AP file

Some Israeli critics use the term “Apartheid” to explain how Palestinians have less rights than the occupied West Bank Jews, besiege Gaza, annexes East Jerusalem and Israel itself.

However, the term prompting the white rule and racial discrimination in South Africa that ended in 1994 is still taboo for many.

Ohad Zemet, a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in the UK, blamed the organization’s report that it was nothing more. “Propaganda tool”

“Israel rejected the false claims in the so-called report because it was not factual. But a distorted ideological view. “. “Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy that grants all citizens the right to be free regardless of religion, race or gender.”

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Palestinians make up 20 percent of Israel’s 9.2 million population, according to The Associated Press.Israel has also used varying degrees of control over the Palestinian territory since it seized East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Strip. Abi from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinians wanted to be a future state.

Most international communities see Palestinian territory as occupied. However, since the beginning of 2017, US officials began to leave public claims to the West Bank as “occupied” and in 2019 the United States changed its decades-long stance that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were “occupied.” Illegal thing

In recent years, rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have said Israeli authorities have tried to undermine the work of defenders, including hurting supporters. Israeli rights and arrest of Palestinian activists

In 2019, Israel expelled Omar Shakir, the local director of Human Rights Watch, for allegedly supporting the international sanctions movement against the country. Human Rights Watch said neither side nor Shakir called for outright sanctions on Israel.

In the B’Tselem report, one organizational principle is behind all Israeli policies: “Moving forward and expanding the supremacy of one group – Jews – above the other – Palestinians.”

The organization said Israel used land and other tools to implement its principles. “Jewish supremacy” with Jews residing in areas where they were fully entitled and self-determination while Palestinians lived in scattered territories. A set of rights that is given to or denied by Israel But often inferior to the rights granted by Jews

Two recent developments show that Israel is increasingly evident with “Judaism”.

The first said it was a controversial law in 2018 that declared, among other provisions, that only Jews had the right to make their own decisions. Law critics say it will continue to preserve the inferior status of the Arabs in Israel.

Second, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in 2019 that he planned to integrate parts of the West Bank. The group said this was a testament to Israel’s long-term intentions and claims to “Temporary occupation”

Eugene Kontorovich, international legal director at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative group, said B’Tselem’s allegations were “shockingly weak, dishonest and misleading”.

Israel “has no racist or ethnic policy,” he said in a statement.

“By creating a ‘big lie,’ B’Tselem tries not to just criticize Israel. But basically it will empower Israel and demand its destruction – because no one has reformed the apartheid regime, so it’s over, ”he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lawahez Jabari and Paul Goldman Contribute

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