Writes in The New York Times: “In Israel, there is no apartheid”

JERUSALEM – In a continued departure from the inflammatory language and false accusations in the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war, Judge Richard Goldstone today in The New York Times declared, “In Israel, there is no apartheid.” His op-ed article is a direct refutation of the campaigns conducted by a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have used the Goldstone Report to promote boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and to demonize Israel, says Jerusalem-based research institution NGO Monitor.

“This is a powerful condemnation of the exploitation of the bitter experience of the victims of South African apartheid for use in immoral attacks against Israel,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Those who invoke this false analogy to advance BDS, lawfare, and other forms of political warfare against Israel, have been named and shamed by the former South African judge who helped end apartheid and who was also critical of Israeli policies. This is a fatal blow to the BDS movement and the apartheid analogy.”

Goldstone notes that “while ‘apartheid’ can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.”

“NGO superpowers like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, along with smaller NGOs like Al Haq and Adalah – many of which receive funding from the New Israel Fund (NIF) and European governments – have been central in spreading this false apartheid analogy,” Steinberg adds. “HRW’s Ken Roth was a key figure in orchestrating the Goldstone Report on Gaza – like this report, Roth is now completely discredited. Similarly, Goldstone’s words answer B’Tselem’s Jessica Montell, who has offensively stated that ‘In some cases, the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid in South Africa.’ She, along with the hundreds of other NGO representatives that have demonized Israel through the Durban strategy, are now exposed for their rhetoric that contributes to hatred and stands in sharp contrast to the moral foundations of universal human rights.

Additional key quotes from Goldstone’s op-ed:

  • In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute…
  • Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.
  • South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.
  • The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.

Goldstone also notes the upcoming Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP), scheduled for this Saturday in Cape Town, as a vehicle spreading the false apartheid analogy. As he explains, “It is not a ‘tribunal.’ The ‘evidence’ is going to be one-sided and the members of the ‘jury’ are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.”

To explain the structure of the “tribunal,” the key figures involved, and the political objectives that motivate them, NGO Monitor has launched the website www.russelltribunal.com.

“The RToP is being used to wage political war against and to demonize Israel,” adds Steinberg. “This is the exact strategy outlined by NGOs at the infamous 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban. Ironically, it is an actual Judge – Goldstone himself – who delivers a strong ‘verdict’ before the ‘tribunal’ even begins.”

NGO Monitor and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs have published the new book The Goldstone Report “Reconsidered” – A Critical Analysis.