Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1977) for shining a spotlight on political prisoners, Amnesty International claims to be the “conscience of the world.” This July marks the 50th anniversary of the London-based human rights group, yet Amnesty’s emblem has been degraded and is now the symbol of an ideology estranged from the glorious history of Western human rights.
In fact, Amnesty today constitutes one of the scariest faces of the new anti-Semitism, in the form of its assault on the Jewish people's right to live as an equal member of the family of nations. Amnesty just hosted in London an event titled: “Complicity in Oppression: Do the Media Aid Israel?” Organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, this anti-Israel conference featured Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.
In 2007, Atwan declared that he would dance “in Trafalgar Square if Iran attacked Israel” and in 2008 he said that the terrorist attack on the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, where eight Israeli students were murdered, “was justified.”
The event was cosponsored by the Middle East Monitor Online, run by Daud Abdullah, a signatory of the Istanbul Declaration which states that it is the obligation of the “Islamic Nation” to “carry on jihad and Resistance” against Israel.
Even a liberal and a non-Zionist like writer Salman Rushdie has accused Amnesty of “moral bankruptcy,” because the organization is serving as an effective weapon in the hands of human rights’ most dedicated enemies.
Amnesty has played an important role in the portrayal of Israel as the epitome of human rights violator. In 2002, the UK group falsely accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in Jenin: This was a myth and a mockery of international law, but the legend of the rubble and corpses buried with it is still used to assail Israel and the Jews.
Indeed, Amnesty’s reports have formed the political and legal infrastructure for producing the blood libel of Israel as an illegal settler “entity.” Among other things, Amnesty has asked the Obama Administration to “immediately suspend military aid to Israel."
'Zionism is apartheid'Amnesty’s fatwa on Israel’s “apartheid wall” and “apartheid roads” has been one of the most repugnant propagandistic manipulations ever suffered by the Jewish State. Contemporary anti-Semitism finds expression not only in the “Zionism is Racism” indictment, but the further indictment of Israel as “an apartheid state," Amnesty’s euphemism for justifying Israel’s destruction.
The “Zionism is apartheid” ideology is used to justify Islamic terrorism and the efforts to deny Israelis the basic human right of self-defense against being ripped apart in bombings on buses and in restaurants. In Amnesty’s immoral doublespeak, protecting Israelis from suicide attacks and slaughter has become “apartheid.” The group has been generous in promoting the books of anti-Israeli firebrands such as Ben White’s “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide.
Amnesty’s “soft war” against the Jews has been crucial in the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, where 3,000 NGOs convinced the United Nations to condemn Israeli “racism.” Well-known NGOs such as Amnesty International and Save the Children attached their names to the conference. A few weeks later, the Second Intifada broke out.
hese NGOs will soon have another opportunity to showcase their Jew-hatred: The United Nations will hold “Durban III” in New York, just a few days after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Amnesty’s played a prominent role at the UN Human Rights Council, where Israel has become a pariah state while major human rights violators enjoy exculpatory immunity, and at the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, where Israel became the first ever state to face a country-specific indictment. Recently, the head of Finland’s branch of Amnesty International, Frank Johansson, called Israel “a scum state.”
In 2006, the year of the Second Lebanon War, Amnesty produced more documents against Israel than on the genocide in Darfur. The group also played a major role in turning Mordechai Vanunu, the Dimona plant’s technician who offered Israel’s nuclear secrets to the highest bidder all over the globe, into a hero.
Amnesty is crucial in biased reports against Israel submitted at the UN, like the discredited Goldstone Report, and in the campaigns for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Jewish State in European courts. Amnesty also plays a role in the ongoing legal indictments against Israeli politicians and the country’s military.
In the Middle Ages, the “mystery plays” that portrayed the Jews as the killers of Jesus helped fuel the pogroms. Today, with its verdicts portraying Israelis as “war criminals,” Amnesty is staging a contemporary mystery play: the Israeli Jew, legally and humanitarianly sentenced to death.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism