During a State Department briefing on February 1, 2022, reporters asked spokesman Ned Price to comment on the recent report by Amnesty International that Israel is perpetrating apartheid. They also asked him about the recent death of an 80-year-old American caused by Israeli soldiers.
Amnesty’s 278-page report follows on similar reports by numerous other respected human rights organizations.
When Price said the U.S. rejects Amnesty’s conclusion, veteran AP reporter Matt Lee pointed out that the State Department’s human rights reports have often cited Amnesty’s reports about numerous other countries, e.g. Ethiopia, Cuba, China, Iran, Burma, and Syria.
Lee then asked why all criticism of Israel is “almost always rejected by the U.S,” while Amnesty’s reports “are accepted, welcomed and endorsed” about other countries?
AP Diplomatic Writer Matt Lee US State Department’s Spokesperson Ned Price on why the US is so critical of Amnesty reports about Israel when it relies heavily on the group's findings that uncover human rights abuses elsewhere around the world.#FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/q1ZPpbO62Q
— Wafa News Agency – English (@WAFANewsEnglish) February 2, 2022
Lee then asked Price about the death of the 80-year-old Palestinian American grandfather caused by Israeli soldiers who had detained, reportedly beaten him, and then left him to die.
Price responded by quoting an Israeli government statement, and said they “expect a thorough criminal investigation” and “full accountability” in the case: “We continue to discuss this troubling incident with the Israeli government.”
Neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris, self-proclaimed anti-racists, have made any statements about the 80-year-old’s death at Israeli soldiers’ hands or about Israel’s system of apartheid. Both have consistently supported giving billions of Americans’ tax dollars to Israel.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. Previous articles be Weir are here and here.