US State Department spokesperson Ned Price dismissed Amnesty International’s report that labels Israel an ‘apartheid state’ during a news briefing on Tuesday, saying, “We don’t offer our own public comprehensive evaluations of reports, (…) but we certainly reject the label that has been attached to this.”
Price seemed particularly reluctant as AP news agency correspondent Matt Lee asked him why “criticism of Israel by this group (Amnesty) is almost always rejected by the US, and yet it is accepted, welcomed and endorsed when the criticism is of other countries”.
AP Diplomatic Writer Matt Lee US State Department’s Spokesperson Ned Price on why the US is so critical of Amnesty reports about Israel when it relies heavily on the group's findings that uncover human rights abuses elsewhere around the world.#FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/q1ZPpbO62Q
— Wafa News Agency – English (@WAFANewsEnglish) February 2, 2022
Aside from the US, Australia too rejected Amnesty International’s report, ABC News Australia reported on Wednesday.
When asked about the report during a press conference in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reaffirmed Australia’s support for Israel. “No country is perfect and there are criticisms made of all countries, but I can assure you that Australia and my government, in particular, will remain a staunch friend of Israel,” he stated.
“Australia has been one of the closest and strongest friends of Israel, of any nation in the world other than the United States, and we continue to be a very strong friend of Israel,” Morrison added.
After Amnesty International said Israel is imposing ‘apartheid’ on Palestinians, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to condemn 'Israel', saying "no country is perfect" . pic.twitter.com/8noPNhd3fJ
— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) February 2, 2022
Australian shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong also dismissed Amnesty’s report, saying in a statement to the ABC that “Labor does not agree with the term ‘apartheid’,” because it “is not helpful in progressing the meaning dialogue and negotiation necessary to achieve a just and enduring peace.”
The 280-page document released by Amnesty on February 1 and entitled ‘Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity’, outlines how the Israeli state segregates and controls Palestinians in order to maintain Jewish hegemony.
The report was welcomed by Palestinians and several NGOs, and it follows similar initiatives by Israeli rights group B’tselem and New York-based Human Rights Watch, in January and April 2021 respectively.
Romana Rubeo explains “Ten Things You Should Know about Amnesty International Report on Apartheid Israel”
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) February 2, 2022
In its document, Amnesty openly calls on “the USA, the European Union and its member states and the UK” to “recognize that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid and other international crimes”.
In response, Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson for the EU’s diplomatic service, told reporters on Tuesday that the EU gives “all the due attention” to the report.
(The Palestine Chronicle)