US dismisses apartheid accusations against Israel
State Dept has rigorous process for making atrocity discriminations, reports on rights abuses annually, says White House
The US said Tuesday that it does not believe that Israel's actions in Palestine constitute apartheid.
Earlier in the day, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a new report accusing Israel of committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
Asked at a press conference whether the White House thinks the report is accurate, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the State Department has its own rigorous process for making atrocity discriminations and reports on human rights abuse issues globally on an annual basis.
"The department has never used such terminology," said Psaki. "As to the question of whether Israel's actions constitute apartheid, that is not the view of this administration."
In the report, the New York-based rights group said Israel's dual policies, codified in its laws, had privileged Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians.
HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said "denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation."
Israel rejected the report, accusing HRW of being led by BDS, in reference to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions global movement.