On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid complained about the increasing scrutiny Israel is facing for its crimes against Palestinians and warned that 2022 will see an intense effort to label Israel as an apartheid state.
“We think that in the coming year, there will be debate that is unprecedented in its venom and in its radioactivity around the words ‘Israel as an apartheid state,'” Lapid told reporters. “In 2022, it will be a tangible threat.”
Israel pointed to the probes by the International Criminal Court into Israeli war crimes and the UN Human Rights Council’s to establish a commission of inquiry into Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The Human Rights Council will also investigate Israel’s May 2021 bombing campaign in Gaza, known as Operation Guardian of the Walls in Israel, which killed over 250 Palestinians, including over 60 children.
“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,” Lapid said.
With US backing, Israel usually goes on the offensive to combat criticism of its war crimes and slow de facto annexation of the West Bank through settlements. Israel has been working hard against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for international boycotts to pressure Israel.
Over 30 US states have anti-BDS laws on the books, and Israel had asked US governors to enforce them after the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced it would stop selling its product in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Several states have obliged Israel and taken action against Unilever, the British conglomerate that owns Ben & Jerry’s.