Europe

UK Jewish Group: Amnesty’s Cancellation of Event Shows “Slippery Slope” Towards Discrimination

Amnesty International U.K. has cancelled a Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) organized debate it was due to host on Wednesday, citing concerns over settlements, leaving the organization accused of blurring the lines between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.

Amnesty had initially agreed to join the panel debate, but withdrew their speaker months ago. On Friday, they went even further by denying use of their venue entirely. The reason cited by Amnesty was that because they are “currently campaigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements” they do not “therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements.”

The panel was to discuss the role of the UN human rights council in Israel, and included speakers Fred Carver of the United Nations Association, and Hillel Neuer of the watchdog group, UN Watch.

In response to the cancellation of the event, JLC said the decision “vindicates those who argue that there is a slippery slope from endorsing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to discrimination of Jews.”

They added that “the Jewish Leadership Council takes no set position on settlements” and stated that “AI UK has maligned the Jewish community by making sweeping accusations and assumptions about its policies on Israel.”

They also accused Amnesty of applying double-standards to the Jewish community, saying “There have been a number of events previously held at the AI UK premises with speakers that hold problematic views.” But “These speakers are seemingly not held to the same level of scrutiny as the Jewish community has been on this occasion,” the JLC said.

Amnesty International U.K. fosters an official partnership with the Islamist ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Beg and his pro-jihadist group Cage, an organization that has described Jihadi John, the British ISIS executioner, “as a beautiful, young man.”

The JLC, an umbrella body of 32 Jewish organizations, strongly advocate for a two-state solution and opposes the boycott campaign that seeks to delegitimize the existence of the Jewish state. The JLC asked Amnesty to “issue a public apology to the Jewish community for your discrimination and openly share the criteria under which you made this decision.”

[Photo: Amnesty International USA / YouTube]