JERUSALEM—Let’s be clear: The 280-page report released by Amnesty International yesterday declaring Israel an “apartheid state” was not an honest and balanced work of scholarship.
It was an act of war.
It was designed first and foremost to generate headlines all over the world branding Israel as a country that is committing “crimes against humanity,” further inflaming the world’s extreme media bias.
It was designed secondly to get people all over the world reading those headlines and to believe that Israel hates Arabs, persecutes Arabs, segregates Arabs, does not provide or protect Arabs' basic human rights or civil rights.
It was designed thirdly to persuade governments, businesses, religious leaders and individuals to take a wide-range of hostile actions, be they resolutions against Israel at the United Nations and/or the imposition of boycotts, sanctions and divestments against Israel (part of the BDS movement), to name just a few.
I began working my way through the Amnesty report this morning, and I can tell you that it is utterly disgusting – filled with venom, spewing hatred, replete with rank and revolting anti-Semitism.
A STRATEGY BUILT ON LIES
The strategy is obvious – and for a season it will fool some – and perhaps many.
But let your heart not be troubled – in the end, this strategy won’t succeed.
Because it is built on lies.
And because the God of Israel – the God who describes Israel as “the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8) – won’t let it succeed.
The Bible describes Satan as “a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) Satan hates Israel and the Jewish people precisely because God loves Israel and the Jewish people. He spreads lies against both in order to the turn the nations against Israel. To what end? To destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
Make no mistake: Jesus said Satan “was a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44)
Jesus also described Satan as “a thief” who comes to “rob, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
SEVEN THINGS ALL EVANGELICALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISRAEL
What’s the best way to counter this demonic declaration of war?
Prayer and speaking the truth.
King David commanded us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) – let’s be more faithful to this command than ever before because while the Amnesty strategy won’t succeed, it can do real damage in the near term.
The Lord Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
Here, then, are seven things you should know so you can counter the lies Amnesty and other haters of Israel are spreading.
#1 – Fair-minded Arabs know that Amnesty is lying about Israel – as the head of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group said today, “While it is not a perfect country, Israel is definitely not an apartheid state.”
Palestinians have many frustrations with and grievances against the State of Israel. But they know the Amnesty report is not even close to being accurate.
“My name is Bassem Eid,” the founder began in a video released on Wednesday morning. “As a Palestinian peace activist and the founder of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, I am here to set the record straight. The international community is yet again lying about Israel. While it is not a perfect country, Israel is definitely not an apartheid state.”
“Just a few days after Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with Emirati leader Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to make peace and normalize relations, Amnesty International released a report full of misinformation and lies about Israel,” Eid continued.
“Amnesty International and other Israel haters can’t seem to live with the fact that the world is embracing Israel with open arms. They want to continue demonizing Israel and denying it the right to exist as the one and only Jewish state.”
Other Arabs have made the following points to me – I hope they are helpful to you.
The dictionary definition of apartheid is “a former policy of segregation and political, social, and economic discrimination against the nonwhite majority in the Republic of South Africa.”
Is that what Israel is engaged in? Hardly.
Fully 21% of Israel’s population of 9.5 million people are Arabs, and they all have full rights under Israeli law. (More on that in moment.)
In 1948, nearly 1 million Jews lived in the Arab world.
Yet today, there are almost no Jews living in the Arab world.
What percentage of the Palestinian Authority’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Lebanon’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Syria’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Jordan’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Egypt’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Iraq’s population is Jewish? Zero.
What percentage of Libya’s population is Jewish? Zero.
Shall I go on?
And the very few Jews living in, say, Syria or Iran, do they have equal rights under the law?
Give me a break.
#2 – The leaders of six Arab countries made peace with Israel because they know that Israel is not an apartheid state and that Israel actively protects the human rights of its Arab citizens – and has tried repeatedly to make peace with the Palestinians.
That’s why Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979.
That’s why Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994.
That’s why the United Arab Emirates made peace with Israel in 2020.
That’s why Bahrain made peace with Israel in 2020.
That’s why Sudan made peace with Israel in 2020.
That’s why Morocco made peace with Israel in 2020.
#3 – Arab citizens of Israel have the right to vote, form their own political parties, and serve in Israel’s parliament known as the Knesset.
These basic human rights are enshrined in Israeli law and have been from the foundation of the State.
As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and his colleagues vowed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948: “The State of Israel…will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
I love this about Israel.
#4 – At this very moment, 14 Arab citizens of Israel currently serve in the Knesset.
Since the first parliamentary session in 1949, 98 Arab and Druze citizens of Israel have served in the Knesset.
#5 – The current Israeli government coalition is actively supported by an Israeli Arab political party known as Ra’am.
The decision by Mansour Abbas and the members of his Ra’am party in June 2021 was historic.
They not only voted for the creation of the new government, but one headed up by Naftali Bennett, one of the most right-wing prime ministers in Israeli history and the first premier to be a kippah-wearing Orthodox Jew.
“This is the first time that an Arab party is part of the process of forming a government,” Abbas said at the time.
This is why we named Abbas #12 on the ALL ISRAEL NEWS list of the 22 most interesting and influential Israelis to keep an eye on in 2022, describing him as “the country’s new kingmaker.”
#6 – Arab citizens of Israel, both Christians and Muslims, serve as judges in Israeli courts and even as Justices on the Israeli Supreme Court.
George Karra is just one example of “a high profile and powerful Israeli Arab, a Christian who serves on Israel’s Supreme Court,” we reported last month.
That’s why we named him #13 on the ALL ISRAEL NEWS list of the country’s Top 22 most influential people.
“Born to a distinguished Arab-Christian family in Jaffa, Karra completed his law degree at Tel Aviv University in 1973 and began his own law practice,” we noted. “He was appointed a judge on the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court and worked his way up the legal system before being appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court in 2017.”
And just this week, ALL ISRAEL NEWS reported that “Osila Abu Assad of Nazareth has become the first female Arab-Muslim judge appointed to an Israeli district court, putting holes in the argument that Israel is an apartheid state. The Israeli Judicial Selection Committee appointed six Arab judges and jurists to prominent positions in district courts across the country, half of whom were women.”
In fact, we noted, “63 Arab judges served in various Israeli courts accounting for 8.3% of the 754 judges in the system in 2019,” adding that a “third of the Arab judges were Christian, 52% were Muslim and 14% Druze.”
#7 – Arab citizens of Israel serve with distinction in Israel’s military, police, academia, media and business.
Lucy Ayoub is a great example.
We named her #9 on ALL ISRAEL NEWS’ list of the 22 most interesting and influential Israelis to watch in 2022.
“Born in Haifa in 1992, Ayoub is quickly emerging as one of Israel’s most promising new acting talents,” we reported. She will be co-starring in the upcoming season of Fauda on Netflix, alongside Lior Raz who appeared on our list last year. Two years ago, Ayoub was chosen as one of the co-hosts of the annual 2019 Eurovision Song Competition which took place in Tel Aviv.”
“Her personal story is fascinating. Ayoub’s father is an Arab-Christian. Her mother is an Ashkenazi Jew who converted to Christianity when they got married. She speaks both Arabic and Hebrew – and English.”
Dr. Samer Haj Yehia is another great example.
In July 2018, he “made history as the first Arab-Israeli to be appointed chairman of Bank Leumi, Israel’s oldest banking corporation,” the Jerusalem Post reported at the time.
These are just a few examples. Many abound. Take a closer look at Israeli society and you’ll see the truth.
DON’T BE SILENT – FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE LIES
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
President John F. Kennedy attributed this famous quote to British philosopher Edmund Burke.
Many scholars believe Burke never said it.
Maybe yes, maybe no, but it’s a great truth.
Don’t be silent in the face of the Amnesty strategy.
Fight back against the lies.
On social media.
On talk radio.
In letters to the editor.
In your schools and colleges and universities.
In conversations with family, friends and neighbors.
We here at ALL ISRAEL NEWS – and our sister site, ALL ARAB NEWS – will keep doing our best to expose the lies and arm you with the truth.
But don’t keep it to yourself.
Get into the fight.
And encourage others to follow us on social media and subscribe to our free email newsletters to make sure they are fully informed and prepared for this critically important war of ideas.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.