Mr. Regev added: “The claim that Israeli politics is motivated by racism is both baseless and outrageous, and undermines the very real security threats posed by Palestinian terrorists to Israeli civilians – their basic human rights to live in freedom and security, inconsiderate of them are ignored HRW “
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan said the report borders on anti-Semitism.
“When the report’s authors use the term apartheid cynically and incorrectly, they are undermining the legal and social status of millions of Israeli citizens, including Arab citizens who are an integral part of the State of Israel,” he said.
Human Rights Watch makes no direct comparison with the infamous South African regime, which divided and subjugated people based on their skin color. Instead, it cites international laws that define apartheid as a crime against humanity, in which one racial group dominates another through deliberate, systematic and inhuman acts of repression. And it is claimed that the word race as used in these laws applies largely to ethnic groups.
While Human Rights Watch argues that these policies persist to varying degrees across the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the State of Israel itself, it points to the occupied West Bank as Exhibit A. There, the group said, Israel has created a two-tier system with some sub Military rule, Palestinians and Israeli settlers living under a civil law system with greater freedoms, an inequality that, according to HRW, amounts to “the systematic repression required by apartheid”.
Israel completely rules over 60 percent of the West Bank and uses checkpoints and a permit system to regulate Palestinian movement between areas of nominal Palestinian self-government and to Israel. HRW also cites “the forcible removal of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, denial of residency rights to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their relatives, and the removal of basic civil rights for millions of Palestinians” as measures that fit the definition of apartheid.
“This policy, which grants Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminates against Palestinians to different degrees wherever they live, reflects a policy of privileging one people at the expense of another,” said Roth.