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Lapid: Gov’t will see uptick in accusations that Israel an apartheid state in coming year

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Illustrative: anti-Israel students at Columbia University erect a mock 'apartheid wall' in front of the iconic Low Library steps during Israel Apartheid Week, March 3, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)
Illustrative: anti-Israel students at Columbia University erect a mock 'apartheid wall' in front of the iconic Low Library steps during Israel Apartheid Week, March 3, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid warns that Israel will face intense pressure in 2022 over accusations that it is an “apartheid state.”

“We think that in the coming year, there will be debate that is unprecedented in its venom, or in its radioactivity, around the words, ‘Israel as an apartheid state,'” Lapid warns during a Zoom briefing with Israeli journalists.

“In 2022, it will be a tangible threat,” he predicts.

Lapid points at Palestinian campaigns against Israel in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in the Hague; the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent “Commission of Inquiry” — the most potent tool at the council’s disposal — into Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, including Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021; and the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

“The commission of inquiry into Guardian of the Walls is unprecedented because it doesn’t have a time limit, it doesn’t have a limit of scope, and it is well-funded with many people working on it,” he explains.

Lapid points out that the COI has a budget of $5.5 million with 18 staffers. The COI looking into the Syrian Civil War has an annual budget of about $2.5 million and 12 staffers.

“It shows where it is heading,” he says.

Lapid calls the accusation that Israel is an apartheid state “a despicable lie.”

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