In a world crippled by xenophobia and injustices of all kinds, we should welcome the work of organizations like Amnesty International (AI). Since 1961, this grassroots movement has been a global voice of outrage against racism, violence and injustice. Today, with over three million members and established branches in 68 countries, AI continues to fight for human rights and justice. Their mission statement is: “Amnesty International is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights”. A quick review of the half-century of work done by AI will suffice to prove the great need for such an organization. They have fought many fights and won many victories small and large.
Yet before I can rejoice for the work that they do, I must once again ponder and ask myself why would Amnesty International seem to ignore anti-Semitism?
During its annual conference in the UK, in March 2015, Amnesty International decided to table a motion to deal with the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain. Of all the motions presented, it was the only one that was defeated. The reason given by Amnesty International was: “After a really interesting debate where everyone condemned discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups, our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus.”
Of course, if you dig a little, you quickly realize that Amnesty International operates with a set of double standards when it comes to Israel and the Jewish people. It was only three years ago when AI fought against Islamophobia in Europe in what clearly appeared to be a single focus campaign. As a matter of fact, they even published a 123-pages report to substantiate their claims. To be sure, I am not opposed to AI’s work to fight Islamophobia; on the contrary, I support it. What really irks me is the fact that they would be so biased as to ignore one side and promote another.
Furthermore, their report of what took place during the Gaza War in the summer of 2014 is tainted with lies and inaccuracies. Of course, because of the impeccable reputation that AI has in the public arena, fact-finding is put aside and outrage against the Israeli “oppressors” and “bloodthirsty murderers” erupts.
Consider these statements recently made by AI when they were asked if they believed that Hamas was using human shields–something that has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt: “Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to “shield” specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks”. The rest of the report is so one-sided that it will make you sick reading it.
Apparently, there are also some key staffers at AI like Kristyan Benedict who harbor clear anti-Semitic sentiments. Benedict was recently heard comparing Israel to ISIS. There is pro-Palestinianism and then there is anti-Semitism. Amnesty International can be found guilty of both. Their last conference in the UK proved it further when they chose to defeat the motion to fight anti-Semitism.
The new world standard for measuring justice and human rights seems to be irrationally connected to anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism. It is clear to me that these two words are simply code names for anti-Semitism. If AI doesn’t revise their position soon, they could become “Scapegoating International”, but then again, are there even enough people who care to show their outrage at their bias?
For Amnesty International, anti-Semitism might not be worth fighting for, but they certainly are not my role model. The Bible is my standard, and it isn’t a double standard. It looks at the Jewish people as “the apple of God’s eye” in Zechariah 2:8. It also shows many of Israel’s shortcomings, just as it does show the iniquities for the rest of mankind, proving the need for a redeemer. The prophet Isaiah spoke of that Mashiach in Isaiah 52:13-53-12 in a very descriptive way. If Amnesty International is looking for true justice, I believe that they will only find it with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Any other man made agenda is flawed.
Douglas Jordan says
AI started with a purpose, as did labor unions. In the USA, unions are now self-promoting and looking out for themselves, not the poor working stiff. Of course AI isn’t the only organization that doesn’t want to see and recognize facts as opposed to status quo. The EU, the UN, most of the Middle East, etc. find it easier to blame Israel than look for truth. The story of Pilate’s question to Jesus, is still out there being thrown around and being overlooked in favor of “political correctness”. What is TRUTH?
P. Melanie Vliet says
I became active with Amnesty International as a graduate student at U.S.C. in the mid 1980s. I wrote letters for its causes back then, and these days I sign online petitions (when I agree with them) that they send to my email. I have one question, Mr. Melnick: have you conveyed a copy of this article to the leadership of AI? I do hope that you have and that AI will respond.
Olivier Melnick says
Dear Melanie, I just wrote the article but have not contacted AI.
Maybe contacting AI about this issue would do some good. However, having a conservative view on anything is probably not something they’d be interested I hearing. Of course, that’s just my imoression of AI. They know what’s been said & what has or hasn’t been done. They should have done something to stop this, but they didn’t. That’s just disregard for human suffering, which is what they’re supposed to be about.