What’s new in the Amnesty International report on Israel? – a conversation with Michael Bueckart, Vice President of CJPME

Since late last year, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has been offering Canadians a weekly hour long podcast (audio only) on issues related to Israel/Palestine. CTIP spoke to CJPME Vice-President Michael Bueckert about the podcast series and about the most recent edition which focussed on a significant new report by Amnesty International on what it calls Israeli “apartheid”. Read more…

On February 1, Amnesty International released a very significant report charging Israel with operating an “apartheid regime” everywhere Israel control runs.

The AI follows in the footsteps of two other reports by significant human rights organizations released last year. In April 2020, the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem released a very critical report accusing Israel of exercising Jewish Supremacy from the river to the sea. That was followed up several months later by another report from Human Rights Watch.

Both of these reports were vigorously attacked by the Israel lobby in Canada and around the world.

But this newest report by Amnesty international, which has been in preparation for more than 3 years, goes MUCH MUCH further than either the B’tselem or HRW reports. It argues that from its very inception in 1948, the Israeli state has been based on discrimination and apartheid against the Palestinian people.

It also argues that Israel doesn’t just practice “apartheid” in the West Bank but actually operates a “regime of apartheid” in all the areas it controls. It accepts that the specific rules for the subjugates Palestinians are different in the various areas – West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, inside Israel, etc. but it is all part of an apartheid regime controlled by Israel whose objective is to maintain Jewish supremacy and rule.

In a recent podcast, CJPME President Tom Woodley and Vice-President Michael Buekhart discuss the wide ranging report and its significance.

CTIP spoke to Buekhart about the podcast series – why CJPME started it, who its intended audience is, and how it is doing so far.

The CJPME podcast series is called CJPME Debrief. Check it out here.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org


  1. Israel was established as a state for Jews, mainly to protect Jews from pograms, holocaust, antisemitism, persecution etc. If you can agree on this then we can have a discussion. But to expect Israel to not be for jews primarily and to follow only democratic views allowing the state to be over run by non Jews is a non starter. This is a sinister ploy to end the state of Israel. As there are many who would like to see this happen, it should be clear from the start that anyone entering into a discussion about Israel should be required to agree on Israels right to be a Jewish state. Then the details could be discussed.

    1. Hey Michael,
      thank you for your comments. I agree in part, but not completely. Israel was established as a state to protect European Jews who had suffered at the hands of European Christians – pogroms, holocaust, antisemitism, persecution, etc. (Nothing remotely similar had happened to Jews in the Middle east or North Africa. Antisemitism was a particular European Christian virus.)

      Disgracefully, the European Christian solution to the “Jewish Question” was NOT to end anti-semitism, or even fight against it. It was to encourage European Jews to leave and to give them part of historic Palestine. That did not end anti-semitism in Europe (as we now see clearly) and it was totally unfair to the Palestinians who had nothing to do with any of those terrible anti-semitic acts (pogroms, holocaust, etc.) Trying to protect Jews by creating a Jewish state, and expelling the people who were already living there was not a good idea. It will only cause anger, frustrtion and hostility.

      IMHO, there are only two ways this can end peacefully. Either the Israelis kill ALL of the Palestinians, after which there will be nobody to fight back, but Israel will become a complete pariah internationally. Or Israel can give up the idea of being a State for Jews, in which Jews have special rights and privileges, and become a state where all can live equally.

      1. Hello Peter,
        so glad to find this oasis of in depth analysis and discussion. Israel, in my opinion, is captivated by the notion that each and every Muslim is a sleeper agent, waiting for the secret activation code to be whispered in their ear, and then start killing Jews. So captivated, that while 10-20% (educated guess) of Jewish Israelis are currently fanaticizing about your 1st and not very peaceful option, only 2-3% (based on the most recent elections) are seriously considering your 2nd option viable.
        The way I see it, the key event in 20th century Zionism was the 1929 massacre of 67 Jews in Hebron. Stemming from it one can see (if one wishes to accept this interpretation) each and every evil root of the current deadlock. Once the trauma of 1929 is addressed and healed, there might be chance to bring peace and justice to the region.
        Thanks again for the opportunity to learn and share opinions in your virtual space.

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