Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2022) — Following Amnesty International’s upcoming report falsely accusing Israel of “apartheid,” Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman made the following statement:
“Sadly, Amnesty International has become a propaganda tool to spread vicious lies with the goal of delegitimizing and demonizing the State of Israel.
“Amnesty’s latest report about Israel, in which it accuses Israel of ‘apartheid … since its establishment in 1948’ is baseless, delusional, and completely at odds with the facts. What’s more, it diminishes the horrific experiences of those who suffered under the injustices of apartheid in South Africa.
“This report will further embolden antisemites who use criticism of Israel as a cover for their real agenda: Jew hatred. Unfortunately, the ugly, real-life consequences of that bigotry have become all too familiar in American life and around the world.
“Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs govern together. Israel’s Arab citizens serve at the highest levels of government, in the judiciary, in medicine, and are celebrated around the world for their achievements in athletics and the arts.
“We wish every country had a perfect human rights record. Like the U.S., Israel is not a perfect society. But Israel is a vibrant democracy that deals with a very difficult security situation right on its doorstep. To be certain, human rights are much more widely guaranteed and observed in Israel than in the Palestinian Authority, in Hamas’ Gaza, or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter.
“Unfortunately, this latest attempt to vilify Israel will only make peace between Israelis and Palestinians harder to achieve.”
FAST FACTS: Israel’s Democracy
- Israeli Arabs have voting rights and exercise them. Explicitly anti-Zionist, Arab parties hold seats in the Knesset (parliament).
- Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs govern together.
- Israeli Arab parties, particularly the one led by Mansour Abbas, played a decisive role in forming the current Israeli government.
- Twenty-one percent (21%) of Israel’s population is Arab. Today 20% of Israel’s doctors are Arabs and 24% of Israeli nurses are Arab.
- Sixteen percent (16%) of undergraduates in Israeli universities are Arab. The number of Arab students in Israeli universities grew by 78.5% over the past seven years, as a result of an $88-million program to increase their university attendance.
- Israeli Arabs serve as Justices of Israel’s Supreme Court, generals in the military, commanders in the police, ambassadors in the foreign service, TV news broadcasters, and corporate heads, including the chairman of Israel’s second largest bank.