The NGO Monitor has debunked accusations of apartheid levelled against Israel in a United Nations report.
Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council, made the charge in his final report before stepping down from his role after six years.
However, NGO Monitor slammed the report for “gross” misrepresentation of facts and for peddling antisemitic tropes.
It criticises Mr Lynk for a portrayal of Israel as “cartoonishly wicked” with the use of emotive language and a failure to recognise the security concerns of the government.
Israeli measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, for example, are branded a “medieval military blockade” and Israel is dubbed a “covetous alien power”.
Mr Lynx calls on Israel to “abandon the fever-dream of settler colonialism and recognise the freedom of the indigenous people”.
The UN Rapporteur also criticises the Israeli Government for designating six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organisations over their ties to terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Mr Lynx dismisses the decision as being based on “unsubstantiated links” despite a decision of the Dutch Government to cancel funding for one of the designated groups in January.
Ann Herzberg, NGO monitor’s legal adviser said: “UNHRC Rapporteur Lynk's latest report is not surprising. The UNHRC Rapporteur position for the Palestinians has a one-sided mandate where active demonization of Israel and promoting BDS is essentially a requirement for the job.
“Like his other reports, he has promoted the anti-Israel buzzword du jour - this time, apartheid. And like all his other reports, he provides a highly tendentious interpretation of international law, grossly misrepresents the facts, and employs antisemitic tropes.”
She said he report relied on the “invested” definition of apartheid drawn up in the heavily criticised Amnesty International report published in February. She added that “rather than providing objective and impartial human rights reporting as required under UN standards, Lynk has authored yet another piece of political propaganda”.
NGO Monitor has published its own report which pulls apart the apartheid claim levelled at Israel and warns it being used not just to criticise Israeli government policy but to “construct a narrative that presents Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state as illegitimate.”
It also found the charge fails to take into account the international community’s endorsement of the creation of a Jewish state alongside Arab states and the ongoing Palestinian rejection of any final settlement to date.
It also warns the claim relies on “antisemitic stereotypes, which trivialize how Jews have, for thousands of years, defined their peoplehood and their religion”.
NGO Monitor said “any reasonable assessment of Israel’s policies must be viewed through the lens of its security dilemma and the context of armed conflict within which they are implemented”.
The UN reporting consistently fails to address these issues, it adds.
“Every country across the globe struggles to protect the principle of equality and rooting out racial and other forms of discrimination. Israel is no exception.”
NGO Monitor has called on the Israeli Government to set up a ‘National Human Rights Institution’ to tackle the issues of discrimination effecting the population, including Palestinians.