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April 21, 2015 3:11 pm

Amnesty UK Shot Down One Resolution This Year: Tackling Antisemitism

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The Amnesty International logo. Photo: WikiMedia Commons.

The only motion that Amnesty International U.K. rejected in its annual human rights meeting on Sunday was one that would have tackled a growing antisemitic trend in Great Britain.

“It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference,” said Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps, who tabled the resolution at an international Amnesty conference in March. Thorpe-Apps is a non-Jew, but said he was “appalled” by what he has “seen in the press facing the Jewish community.”

The motion was narrowly defeated by a 468 to 461 on Sunday.

“Amnesty International-UK’s (AIUK) decision on antisemitism highlights the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of what was once a leading human rights group,” NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg told the Algemeiner on Monday.

“At a time of murderous antisemitic attacks in Europe, Amnesty’s moral blindness is a core indictment of the organization,” he said.

“I can’t say that I’m shocked,” Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. Cooper said that you would have to be “blind, deaf or dumb in Europe” not to see a growing trend of antisemitism.

Amnesty U.K., meanwhile, put out a statement saying that the resolution was rejected because of its “single focus.”

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  • Simone Miller

    It seems to me that AI has been bought and paid for by arab oil dollars. The British should be ashamed.

  • Yale

    AI owes the world an apology for failing in its mission.

    • Julian Clovelley

      Although I would have voted FOR the resolution it is very possible that Amnesty has accidentally put on the table something that really needs to be examined in the modern context – what is “antisemitism”?

      I guess we have all been rather avoiding this one, hiding the difficulty of definition behind a simplistic attitude that reasonably sought to understand the almost incomprehensible horrors of the past that we grew up with

      But maybe it is time to revisit the entire question in the light of a rapidly growing secularism.

      The definition of antisemitism that will be generally used will be made by the non Jew rather than the Jew.

      We are facing a general crisis of identity worldwide – and it is long overdue.

  • noellsq

    It is amazing the Brits are anti semetec today like they were in the 1940’s. Israel is a country that started with less than nothing and today is the leading country in the world when it becomes to medical or other research. Thank G-D for their discoveries and bless them.

  • Eve Laing


    • just keep on pointing out the moral blindness of AI and other groups. Its an information war. spread the knowledge. And if they arent embarrassed as an organization, they are doomed to fail in the end.

  • Derek Brown

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Amnesty Int. Has always been anti- Semitic and anti Israel. Any Jew that supports them is a self hating delusional Jew.

  • Monty Pogoda

    The nearly 50% – 50% voting shows that at least – some people think straight. May the antisemites drown in their own blood.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    It’s not so called moral blindness it’s intentional. AI is fundamentally an antisemitic organization.

  • Brian Freed

    “Amnesty U.K., meanwhile, put out a statement saying that the resolution was rejected because of its “single focus.””

    Yeah right try 6,000,000 + 33200

    What they are trying to say its not enough blood.

    I find most of the anti-semitic diatribe is coming out of England. Your time is coming as you pay hommage to your next royal household his royal highness King Mohammed and their seven offspring.

    10 Englishmen in a meeting, someone throws in a hand grenade when the smoke has cleared nine have knives in their back

  • sidney sands

    WE have long understood that Amnesty is not Israel/Jew friendly, so why be surprised at their stance, they have a long history of slagging off Israel, and its complete blindness to real world problems is so transparent, they have just be come another voice of Israel’s detractors.

  • Lauren Goldman

    Here is my ‘single focus’; no support for Amnesty International. I have not supported them for some time now, because of their moral blind spot, concerning Jews.

  • barney wainer

    I question the term “single focus”. Does this mean they focus only on national or communal matters (e.g. Darfur, Sudan et al.) or on acts against individuals? Antisemitism qualifies either way. Amnesty Intnl. owes the public a definition of their terminology.

    • Julian Clovelley

      In the past the terms “antisemitic” and “Jew” were understood very differently to the manner in which they are understood now. This is because people lived in a world that was largely defined by religion.

      For example prayers were said at Easter in Catholic Churches for “the perfidious Jews” – A Jew was seen as a person rejecting the otherwise common religion of the people. In addition the concepts of Zionism and of Nazism worked almost in tandem creating a separate people and a racist scapegoat

      For most people the old definitions don’t hold any longer – Judaist Jews are recognised as being observers of a religion and not a racial group. DNA and family histories confirm the physical integration and common origin of all modern populations and there is the end of it.

      What then is “antisemitism” – what is a “secular Jew”? Let me ask you – if I can convert to Judaism – as vast numbers of people have done in the past – and become a Jew, how can I convert to becoming a “secular Jew”?

      Just asking a question that would not have been comprehensible fifty years ago – but perfectly valid now, that so many Jews are more assimilated and secular.

      In this situation what then is antisemitism? Is it a separate “racism” or part of a wider network of prejudice? You see my reaction to antisemitic attack is that it has no foundation – I cannot rerceive any difference between the attacker and the victim except in their behaviour – and never have been able to, since I first protected and embraced a Jewish best friend under attack in my primary school some fifty five years ago, recognising that the attack on my friend was an attack I should, and did see, as an attack upon myself and my own spirit.

      No Paseran – They shall not pass.

  • The hatred the world has had and is still having is bringing a terrible catastrophe onto our Earth.

  • Anna Kershaw-Bar

    Amnesty UK never disappoints in its display of non-objectivity. Surprised vote so close. They are niaive to believe that being ‘humanitarian’ is an easy and uncompromising task.

  • montlasky

    The world should be made aware of the moral bankruptcy of a once august body that has become the laughing stock of the” Human Rights” club. Regrettably there are many other so called “Human Rights” bodies that are anything but human and misuse their “rights”. The biggest offender is probably that little organisation with in the United Nations or UNRWA that really know how to use their powers to bully nations in the same way as AI are using. Funny peculiar. Not funny haha!

    • Julian Clovelley

      Amnesty International remains an exceedingly highly respected body that saves lives and protects freedoms on a huge scale

      It is necessary because one cannot even trust Governments such as the American, Australian, and British ones – or those of many European countries – let alone Governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America – to act in accordance with human rights principles, international legal standards, or even the Rule of their own Law

      You can’t even trust Israel….

  • I am amazed that the vote was so close. It proves there are some people who support Amnesty who are not anti-Semites. I had assumed the vote would be unanimously against ‘tackling anti-Semitism’. People like George Galloway insist they are profoundly anti-Israel but in no way anti-Semitic, but in the real world to deny the Jewish people the right to one state among the 50+ Muslim states and 100+ Christian majority states is a form of anti-Semitism. Amnesty’s double standard in attacking Israel needs to be tackled by Amnesty!

    • Julian Clovelley

      Try closing the settlements, ending the occupation and the blockade – and moving away from the Zionist concept of a “Jewish State”

      You might be surprised to find public sympathy return

  • murad

    Amnesty and similar organizations have no conscience or morals. They don’t decide on what they see on the ground. They follow what is fashionable. The fashion over the last 50 years has been: do everything possible to islamize the west.

  • John Evans

    I agree they lost me years ago when they were raising money to support a trader against Australia namely David Hicks who trained with the terrorist groups in Afghanistan and wanted Australians to help someone who is meant be Australian who wanted to destroy our way of life.I am on your side they are hypocrites and will never give them anything and when i get a opportunity share how bias and wicked the group have become..

    • Julian Clovelley

      A few years ago I had the pleasure of shaking hands with Hicks lawyer at a University meeting called to discuss the case.

      Whatever the nature of Hicks activity one fact is undeniable – the legal process followed to incarcerate him and deal with him was severely flawed – so flawed that his conviction was overturned by U.S. Court of Military Commission Review in February 2015

      Hicks lawyer went to great length to separate the defective legal process from the personality himself. Indeed he said clearly that he was not holding up Hicks as a role model

      The former Pentagon chief prosecutor alleged that there was political interference from the then Republican Administration in the handling of the Hicks case, arguing that Hicks should never have been prosecuted

      Many of Hicks running legal expenses were covered by an Australian Businessman with very great, and recognised, integrity. He says he was motivated by his desire to see Hicks had a fair trial

      For any legal system to work in a Democracy it must always be of the highest integrity, be open to outside observation, including open court proceedings and proper legal representation – and its court procedure and structure must be intrinsically fair and neutral. The treatment of many Guantanamo detainees was outrageous as indeed is the very existence of the base in Cuba. I would hope that this violation of Cuban territory be brought to an end in the same way as Britain peacefully handed back Hong Kong

      I would also like to see a new amendment to the American Constitution that demanded that all trials – with the possible exception of Court Marshals relating to serving personnel – be conducted on American soil, and that ALL interrogations and detention of suspects be conducted in accordance with American law, wherever they take place – and monitored.

      The involvement of Human Rights groups in these matter is valid and in the public interest. American legal process is severely flawed – especially for a process that includes the disgusting death sentence. I wonder just how many innocent people sit in American jails for their entire lives as a result of plea bargaining procedures that would be illegal in more civilised and less backward countries

      The practice of stitching up a suspect, convicting him through the use of plea bargaining and the threat of execution is a form of Lynching

      And that dear friends is our ally the US of A

      Long past time it reformed its supposed “democracy” from American nightmare to American dream. It could if the will were there, and fewer idiots trying to persuade whole voting blocs to swing towards the fascist Right

      • Andrew Schonberger

        As a person living in Australia, I can assure the readers of these comments, that the public in general regards David Hicks as a terrorist who deserved his punishment.
        Regarding Dick Smith, the overripe entrepreneur who paid for the defence – he too lost quite a few friends over the matter, and not just Jewish ones.

        All this happened in the good old times, when terrorism was something happening in far away countries. Since then, the public’s tolerance has markedly decreased towards Muslim fanatics and their left-fascist friends like Amnesty.

  • Andrew Schonberger

    A decade ago,a written reference from Amnesty has allowed a person named Man Monis to be accepted as an immigrant into Australia. Last December, the same person staged a terrorist attack in Sydney’s centre, killing two people.

  • Mike P.

    What are some examples of resolutions that Amnesty UK passed in the past year?

    Just so we can see if they passed many other resolutions that did have a “single focus.”

    Very curious.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Amnesty International – UK is merely following the trend set by UK politicians and church leaders as they sink deeper and deeper into the stinking quagmire of Islam.

  • Fred

    The Amnesty UK is following the call of the 1930 Mosley Fascist movement.

  • anon

    How can you not be against anti-Semitism?

  • steven L

    Antisemitic fundamentalists.
    The US congress needs to pass a law that will punish governments that condone, support or defend BDS. BDS is racist by definition.

  • Julian Clovelley

    This article is incorrect in one crucial point. Amnesty International’s UK Board actually supported the resolution. It was rejected by the membership at the AGM by 468 votes to 461. It is unclear if this included proxy voting, and postal votes prior to the conference. If it did then it might suggest the absentee voting system wants looking into, since a limited number of dummy memberships can decide the result of Resolutions

    Taking the vote at face value, the attitude seems to be that Antisemitism is a form of Racism already covered by the principle that Amnesty International’s spokesman expressed:

    “Amnesty International fights against discrimination in all its forms, and will continue to do so,”. He further said:

    “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,”

    He also said “Amnesty UK’s Board, which supported the resolution, will be considering the outcome of the vote at their next meeting.”

    It is well that they do – but again taking the membership vote at face value, it would seem that the will to treat antisemitism separately, and as a specific item, is declining. That is the matter the Jewish community might choose to deal with in terms of their own perception of identity.

    What is in question here I think, is perception of the target population. The Zionist conception of the Jews as a separate people is no longer universally accepted. The historical events of the Torah are widely considered as mythological – in part because of scholarly changes in Christianity – and the Genealogical claims are recognised to be on very shaky ground indeed. Increasingly Jewishness is viewed as an Eastern European religious phenomena with no real historical claim on the land of Israel. Hebrew ancestry dispersed throughout the general population thousands of years ago. The myth is recognised as a unifying mythology assembled at least around a thousand years after the supposed – but actually entirely fictional – events. That is the increasingly common modern perception

    Israeli and Jewish attacks on the United Nations have weakened the perceived validity of the State of Israel. If Israel rejects the UN, why should anyone else accept the Partition Resolution of 1947 – which is Israel’s only real justification when one regards the historical and Genealogical claims as bogus(sic)?

    It is therefore a reasonable perception – which I personally however do not share – that antisemitism – should be examined within a general pattern of racism and race hate policy, wherein Israel and the Jewish Community are at times also guilty parties. My attitude would have been to support the Resolution with the perception as a cautionary observation. The days when antizionism and antisemitism were perceived by people, not of the Jewish Community, as congruent are over forever. The call is for Israel and the Jewish population to abandon the Zionist ethos, mythology, and path, and become ideologically more inclusive, sharing the journey towards multiculturalism

    The modern non Jewish perception is that physically “Jews” have been a part of the general population for over 2500 years, indeed probably they were never separate. What divides them is only a religion that has built into it a myth of origins that is adopted as physically real by converts – defining them falsely in the same manner as those they join.

    • Andrew Schonberger

      Julian Clovelly wrote: “Increasingly Jewishness is viewed as an Eastern European religious phenomena with no real historical claim on the land of Israel. ”
      On contrast, Amnesty believes that the Amazonian tribesman in his loin-cloth has primordial rights to his land. The suffering of the semi-literate Chinese peasant is fully acknowledged, since he had to move 20km, to make way for a dam and get electricity in his house. But a Jew, being forced to move between continents ? Nah.
      My response to such tosh conforms to the principle of equality between people. “Increasingly, Britishness is viewed as a Western European tribal phenomenon, with no real historical claim on the land of the island it currently occupies”. Sounds far fetched ? Just wait and see what Islam has to say on the matter.

  • Leo Toystory

    The Brits could not feel intellectually superior to the Jews so it became necessary for them to feel morally superior to them. After all, they have to have someone to feel superior to, that’s how they are.

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