My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Amnesty International's Anti-Israel bent...

A nice short piece on Amnesty. I used to have a lot of respect for Amnesty - but no longer.
In recent months, Amnesty International in the UK has taken a sharp anti-Israel turn. This will be obvious to anyone who receives the organisation’s bi-monthly magazine, which now features articles bashing Israel in every single issue.

For example, last summer the magazine carried a long report on a visit by an Amnesty delegation to Israel and Palestine. It was an utterly one-sided account, reporting the suffering of Palestinians without even hinting at the possibility that Israelis too might be victims of the conflict.

Amnesty condemns the building of the separation barrier without mentioning why it exists or the lives it has saved. Its report focuses on petty matters like the cleanliness of toilets at Israeli checkpoints, without a mention of why those checkpoints are there (to counter terrorism).

The history of the conflict is mentioned when it serves the Palestinian side (for the example, the tragedy of the refugees in 1948) but ignored when it might help to explain why Israel does some of the things it does.

Amnesty says Palestinians are the ones who are being provoked

Perhaps worst of all, the Amnesty delegation report says that it’s hard to end a conflict “when people are constantly being provoked to retaliate”. The reference is to Palestinians who are being provoked by Israelis. Israel is never provoked by the Palestinians, apparently.

This is not only one-sided, but seems to be a moral justification for terrorism, which is far worse. Amnesty adopts the language of Palestinian extremism, referring to “resistance” when they mean terror. Indeed, the report concludes by saying that the conflict will only end when that “resistance” (albeit in its “non-violent” form) wins.

I wrote to complain about that report and a shortened version of my letter was duly published in the next issue of the magazine — which also featured a long interview with Noam Chomsky. In that interview, Chomsky barely touched on human rights, but included — as usual — an anti-Israel rant. What this has to do with Amnesty’s core mission of promoting human rights is beyond me.

The next issue of the magazine contained yet another long article on Israel. Amnesty’s latest project is to condemn Israel’s water policy and the organisation held a public meeting in London featuring Ben White, the author of a book on Israeli “apartheid”. In doing this, Amnesty is following the lead of War on Want, whose charitable status is under threat as it pursues a one-sided political agenda.

In the last few weeks, Amnesty has encouraged its supporters to pressure the British government to back the biased and deeply flawed Goldstone Report. When the UN General Assembly voted (as expected) against Israel, the organisation sent out an email message to its members with the subject line “More good news on Gaza”.

This was inappropriate. Good news on Gaza would be an end to terror, the ousting of Hamas from power, and the freeing of Gilad Shalit.

For Amnesty International to find itself on the side of such human rights violators as the dictatorial regimes in Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria (all of whom voted for Goldstone) — and against all the world’s democracies — surely cannot be something to be proud of.


Blogger Lucy said...

If you are even trying to compare the suffering of Israelis to Palestinians then you are even more off beam then i give you credit for.
And to be fair, i don't give you much credit because 90% of what you say is off beam anyway.

4:01 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

Rather than address the blog entry, you choose to just insult. Pretty typical for Lucy.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

If i misread it and the post wasn't about how Amnesty concentrate more on the Palestinian hardships and not the Israeli hardships then i apologise. I don't withdraw my comment that you are mostly off beam though.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beam off, Lucy.

Actuaklly don't, it's fun having a lunatic commenting, it reminds those who are right why they have to be constantly vigilant

7:08 PM  
Blogger Justin M said...

Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. Absolutely Palestinian armed groups also did so and if Amnesty in Canada is not making this clear then they should. And X amount of war crimes does not justify Y in response regardless of who carries them out.

But Amnesty doesn't 'pick sides'. It points out human rights violations and goes after them. The Amnesty group I am a member of, and obviously I'm a member of the organisation, works on Iran and we go after human rights abusers there.

The simple reality is that Israel violates human rights and commits war crimes on a massive scale. That Palestinians do the same on a far smaller scale doesn't excuse that.

Condemning Israel for those crimes doesn't put one on the same side as North Korea. Remaining silent though, very definitely does.

8:53 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

Justin, why do you hold Palestinians to such low standards? Only when we start to understand that firing thousands of rockets at civilian targets actually hurts the Palestinian cause.

You want to excuse the worst international crimes going.

Amnesty does pick sides. They have continually sided against Israel.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

I'm not going while there is such a rich seam of hilarious right wing nonsense to reap here Anon. I love the way you gayandrighters wear blinkers to stop you seeing anything outisde of your narrow view. It amnuses me because it's not easy to find such wacky views being expressed elsewhere outside of parody.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:47 AM  

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