Monday, January 22, 2018

  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JTA:
The main umbrella group of British Jews accused their local branch of Amnesty International of  targeting the community following the abrupt cancellation of a joint event.

The accusation by the Jewish Leadership Council — a charity founded 15 years ago comprising 32 groups with different politics, including the Board of Governors of British Jews, the Jewish World Relief aid organization and several synagogues – came Monday following the cancellation of an event concerning Israel and the United Nations.

Amnesty had undertaken to host the event on Jan. 24 but withdrew the invite Friday, explaining: “are currently campaigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements. We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements.”

The panel session that Amnesty canceled is entitled “The UNHRC and Israel: How it works, what’s not working, and how it might be repaired.” It was to be chaired by Danny Friedman, a renowned Human Rights lawyer, with speakers including Fred Carver of the UN Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.
Amnesty-UK is worried about the optics of hosting a group that includes some members that support Jews living in their ancestral homeland as being inconsistent with its human rights mandate.

That would be fine, if Amnesty-UK hasn't hosted actual antisemites, terror supporters and people who want to see Israel destroyed.

Wikipedia summarizes one such event:
Amnesty allowed a speaking event to take place in London in May 2011, organized by the magazine Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Much controversy surrounded this event since one of the speakers included Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. In the past, Atwan has said that "he would 'dance with delight' in Trafalgar Square if Iran attacked Israel, and that the terrorist attack on the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed, "was justified" as it was responsible for "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists." Amnesty responded by saying that "while we did have concerns about the way the event had originally been organized, these have been resolved."
Amnesty-UK bent over backwards to allow an antisemite to speak at an anti-Israel event, but it pulled a Jewish event where the supremely offensive Jewish towns aren't even on the agenda.

Moreover, Amnesty has hosted Ben White, the author who tirelessly and falsely accuses Israel of "apartheid."

Amnesty's justification for hosting these past events in their space implied that Amnesty doesn't necessarily host events and people that completely align with its own positions.

Yet Amnesty's pretense of a moral stand to drop the Jewish event because of the political stances of some of the organizers  proves that, in retrospect, Amnesty's hosting of the previous events is not just in the position of a disinterested host renting out a space but of an organization that will only host events and speakers that are completely consistent with its own position.

Amnesty's justification of the ban says this explicitly: “A wide range of organisations hold their events at our London office, but we reserve the right to withhold permission for our building to be used by organisations whose work runs directly counter to our own."

Meaning that this banning of the Jewish group has proven that Amnesty International really is antisemitic. Not because the group is Jewish, but because Amnesty has hosted antisemites without any qualms of their work being in the least bit counter to Amnesty's own positions.

And, it should be recalled, Amnesty members voted against a resolution condemning antisemitism. Amnesty has praised a group that posts literal antisemitic photos and supports violence against Jews. Amnesty has sponsored talks by Palestinians who promote a blood libel against Jews. Amnesty has done other things to indicate that they have a problem with Jews.

This incident shows that Amnesty is worried about optics - and it is not at all worried about the optics of supporting antisemites and banning Jewish groups.

That says it all.




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