An interview with Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
by Jerry Gordon
On April 27, 2021 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 213 page controversial report, A Threshold Crossed; Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution. It accused Israel of “apartheid”, “crimes against humanity” and “persecution” of Palestinians. The HRW report set off alarms in Jerusalem and Washington criticizing the human rights organization for conducting “disingenuous” politically motivated antisemitic attacks against the Jewish nation state of Israel.
Dan Diker, Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in this wide-ranging-interview cited the report for being “based on falsehoods, fiction, and fantasy. Diker noted that HRW has had a tradition of politicizing its research specifically against Israel. The charge of apartheid is not a normal charge. It is one of the two most heinous crimes against humanity of the 20th century: Nazism being the first and apartheid being the second”.
Diker points out that the author of the HRW report Omar Shakir, the former director of HRW’s “Palestine and Israel desk”, is a Stanford Law School graduate and lawyer and a Palestinian activist who was deported from Israel following a rare decision of Israel’s internationally celebrated Supreme Court. He was actively working towards the dismantling of the State of Israel. He advocates BDS warfare and other delegitimization of Israel in the name of human rights as a senior member of Human Rights Watch. So much for the objective credibility of Human Rights Watch”.
Prof Eugene Kontorovich
Professor Eugene Kontorovich director of international law at The Kohelet Policy Forum criticized the appropriation of “apartheid” saying: “Why say it’s apartheid? Why not just say Israel has some discriminatory policies that we don’t like?” he said. “Because for discriminatory policies, what do you do? You change the policies…. What do you do with an apartheid regime? You have to replace it.”
Avi Bell, an associate senior fellow at The Kohelet Policy Reform characterized the HRW report, noting:
“The report doesn’t suffice with whitewashing Palestinian terrorism and related crimes. HRW actually distorts international law to the point where it became a basis for a Palestinian legal right to join and be active in terrorist organizations”.