Last night I went to Amnesty International for an event called Deliberate Discrimination Deliberate Deprivation: The Denial of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories chaired by Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty’s Campaign Manager.
There were five speakers who each gave a ten minute cameo talk on how Israel had stolen Palestinian land, had destroyed and stolen Palestinian water resources, had destroyed Palestinian health care, had destroyed the Palestinian education system and had destroyed Palestinian cultural and political life.
...[They displayed a photo that] was taken in 2003 and shows a Palestinian boy with a Magen David cut into his forearm. The caption reads:
“The soldier, checking student’s ability to bear pain, took a piece of glass and broke it and taking Qasem’s arm, cut into it a Star of David (April 30th 2003)”
After the event I wanted to discuss the provenance of this photo with Ala Abu Dheer. He shook my hand and invited me to visit Palestinian towns with him to show me how the Palestinians were living and promised to email me details of the case of the Palestinian boy.
He asked me what I would do about it and I told him I would try to get Israel to investigate. However, I said that if an Israeli had done this surely we would have seen the photo by now. I asked him what he would do about Hamas’ crimes.
Then events took a surreal turn. An Amnesty official went to get Kristyan Benedict who proceeded to tell Mr Abu Dheer that there was no point in talking to me as I was a war crimes denier. On the way out Kristyan proceeded to tell me, inter alia, that he would “smack me in my little bald head”. As you can hear he also suggested that I put it on my blog, so here it is:
And you can hear the audio of an Amnesty official threatening violence against someone whose views he disagrees with.
Will Amnesty apologize? Will Benedict be reprimanded or fired?
Or is the crime of being a supporter of Israel so heinous that peaceful proponents of human rights just can't help themselves?