Israel’s response to UN agency’s ‘apartheid’ finding is a distraction from the real issues

Israel likened the report to a Nazi propaganda publication, rather than focusing on the reasons why its actions are being criticised

In response to being called an “apartheid regime” by a UN regional commission, Israel compared the report to Nazi propaganda tabloid Der Sturmer, and foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted: “Don’t read it without anti nausea pills”.

It’s a particularly low trick to use past victimhood to dismiss contemporary criticism, and it’s such a trite response that it has a name: Godwin’s Law. The principle, formulated by American attorney Mike Godwin nearly 30 years ago, is that most long-running political arguments sooner or later end with a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis

Israel may consider itself more entitled than most to press Hitler into posthumous service. Even so, invoking the memory of genocide in order to dismiss an allegation by a UN commission is at best a lazy argument and at worst a manipulation to distract from the legitimacy of the claims.

This is the first time a body affiliated with the UN has used the term “apartheid” for the Israeli state’s treatment of Palestinians, and it is a grave assertion. The commission said that Israel has “established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”, and added that a “history of war, annexation and expulsions, as well as a series of …





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