Many have written about how Amnesty International UK has voted against a resolution that would seek means and call on Europe, specifically the UK, to fight antisemitism.
The Jewish Chronicle reported:
Amnesty International has rejected a motion to tackle the rise in antisemitic attacks in Britain at its annual conference.
The motion was tabled by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps in March who said it was defeated at the International AGM on Sunday by 468 votes to 461.
Mr Thorpe-Apps said: “It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference.”
Mr Thorpe-Apps said he put forward the motion because “I recently joined and I believe passionately about human rights.
“I was aware that the organisation has been outwardly pro-Palestine in the past but it hasn’t stood up for the Jewish population and I think it would be good if they did that.
“I’m not Jewish myself but I’ve been appalled by what I’ve seen in the press facing the Jewish community and an organisation like Amnesty should really add their voice to that as they do with other human rights issues.”
This rejection is troubling because a major human rights organization overwhelmingly voted against fighting a real and current threat to the Jewish people. It is also troubling because Amnesty has been less than fair in their critique of Israel. One blatant example was from last year. The organization came under fire when a campaign manager tweeted the #JSIL hashtag, comparing Israel to the ISIS terror group.
Jewish News UK reported: The Israeli embassy described it as an “ugly, hateful term with anti-Jewish connotations”.
In response to the tweet Amnesty said:
“This tweet was made in a personal capacity by a member of staff.”
“Amnesty International has not used the hashtag #JSIL and is not using this in relation to our latest report on Israel/Gaza, which provides details of attacks by Israeli forces during Operation Protective Edge which killed scores of Palestinian civilians by targeting houses full of families.”
NGO Monitor has found Amnesty to be very biased against Israel. It found the following issues, which should be of concern:
Amnesty International disproportionately singles out Israel for condemnation, focusing solely on the conflict with the Palestinians, misrepresenting the complexity of the conflict, and ignoring more severe human rights violations in the region.
In violation of its policy of “impartiality,” Amnesty employs two anti-Israel activists with well-documented histories of radical activism in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Deborah Hyams and Saleh Hijazi, as researchers in its “Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Palestinian Authority” section.
Allegations of “war crimes”: Distorts international law, misusing terms like “collective punishment,” “occupying power,” and “disproportionate” in its condemnations of Israel’s Gaza policy.
AI’s report, “Operation ‘Cast Lead’: 22 Days of Death and Destruction” (July 2009), charges Israel with “war crimes” during the conflict. The 127-page publication ignores considerable evidence that Hamas used human shields, minimizes Palestinian violations of international law, and promotes boycotts and “lawfare” against Israel.
However, there is more to Amnesty’s moral failure in regards to the antisemitism resolution . The Coalition Against Antisemitism in Europe tweeted to Amnesty-UK asking for comment. Here was the reply
This is a neat inversion on the answer that latent antisemites give for choosing to condemn only Israel for things that every nation does – “You’ve got to start somewhere. ” Just like the Jewish state is always the first, last and only one to be condemned by so many, so is Jew-hatred the first, last and only human rights issue that cannot be tackled because of so many other issues worldwide.
If Amnesty International is truly “campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all” (as they claim), then antisemitism, specifically in light of its drastic rise (see HERE and HERE), should be a concern for them.
NGO Monitor rightly condemns the action:
Amnesty International-UK’s (AIUK) decision to reject a campaign against antisemitism in the UK highlights the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of what was once a leader in human rights advocacy.
Amnesty is likewise misleading in its assertion that their “membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus.” Amnesty has initiated “single focus” campaigns frequently in the past, for instance, as pointed out by NGO Monitor:
… approving “overwhelmingly” a 2010 resolution on Sinti and Roma Communities, and stating: “Within the last year widespread discrimination and violence against Sinti and Roma communities has intensified in a number of European countries, which Amnesty International has published within respective country reports.”
AUIK’s silence on antisemitism stands in sharp contrast.
In light of NGO Monitor research, which has shown that Amnesty disproportionately and unfairly singles out Israel while ignoring real human rights violations in the ME region, the world should be outraged and saddened that Amnesty has fallen so far from where it was once.