The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the national hub of the community relations network representing 125 Jewish Community Relations Councils and 16 national organizations including all four streams of religious Judaism, strongly condemns and rejects the report issued by Amnesty International UK on February 1, 2022, entitled “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity.” The report falsely accuses Israel of instituting the crime of apartheid against Palestinians. Amnesty’s report completely ignores both history and the current context of the relationship between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. In particular, the report ignores the existential threats Israel has faced since it was founded, and the continuing threats to the safety and security of its citizens.
JCPA has long supported a two-state solution which would provide for peaceful coexistence, security and economic opportunities for Israelis and Palestinians. The Amnesty report will only undermine these efforts, particularly in its call for a full right of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees and for reparations, and its implication that Israel’s founding and continuation as a Jewish state is illegitimate.
While we JCPA believes that the policies of any government, including Israel, are not beyond criticism, this report is unbalanced and goes beyond the pale. It does not reflect Israel’s efforts to achieve equality and inclusivity, and to combat racism for one of the most diverse populations in the world. Further, the report ignores Israel’s efforts to provide housing, employment, and educational opportunities for its Arab citizens, and the political involvement of Israeli Arabs, including their membership in the current Israeli government.
JCPA calls on the UK government to ignore the Amnesty report and continue its efforts to support the safety and security of Israel, reject efforts to delegitimize the Jewish homeland, and encourage all efforts for a peace and two state outcome between Israelis and Palestinians.