People who have been paying attention to the ethical demise of Amnesty International have known for a long time that the NGO has a problem with Jews and is helping those that seek the destruction of the Jewish state. I even wrote a 200 page report that covered the subject. But now that we have heard it straight from the horse’s mouth, there is no argument any more. Amnesty International has decided that there is no room on the planet for one tiny Jewish state. Amnesty can deny it all it likes – but these days the once respected NGO is as antisemitic as they come.
The truth was told by Paul O’Brien. O’Brien was talking to a Women’s National Democratic Club audience, it was a one-hour event, and the talk was also carried via Zoom. He is Executive Director at Amnesty International USA and is a key executive at the NGO. Last Wednesday O’Brien finally came clean and told the world what everyone with a brain already knew. Amnesty International wants to wipe Israel off the map.
It was not recorded, or at least the recording has not been made available. Jewish Insider swiftly reported on what was said. O’Brien later said on Twitter that his words were taken out of context – but he only appears to have addressed one of the many problematic quotes. O’Brien also says he has seen a transcript, but it is pretty obvious that if the transcript actually supported him – he’d publish it. It says a lot that he chose not to.
The Paul O’Brien quotes
To understand the sinister Amnesty mindset let’s look at what was said. From the Jewish Insider report:
That one of Amnesty’s goals in publishing their Apartheid report was to “collectively change the conversation” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This change ‘needs to start first and foremost with the Jewish community,’.
O’Brien rejected surveys which show most American Jews are pro-Israel, saying ‘I actually don’t believe that to be true,’ O’Brien said regarding those figures. ‘I believe my gut tells me that what Jewish people in this country want is to know that there’s a sanctuary that is a safe and sustainable place that the Jews, the Jewish people can call home.’
Jews want ‘a safe Jewish space,’ not a ‘Jewish state’. ‘I think they (American Jews) can be convinced over time that the key to sustainability is to adhere to what I see as core Jewish values, which are to be principled and fair and just in creating that space.’
He said Israel ‘shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state,’ before adding the usual hard left nonsense that Amnesty ‘takes no political views on any question, including the right of the State of Israel to survive.’.
Support for the right of the people to self-determination also had a big ‘but’ – ‘we are opposed to the idea — and this, I think, is an existential part of the debate — that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people.’
Putting all that together it is difficult to see how Paul O’Brien can claim anything has been taken out of context. Everything we need to know is there. We read him – and Amnesty – loud and clear.
The imperialist, supremacist mindset
Reading through the quotes, it is impossible to overstate how disgraceful the Amnesty mindset has become. They are not dealing with human rights or international law at all. They are also wilfully ignoring the only people that matter – the Israelis themselves. Israel is a full and vibrant democracy. Amnesty talk to others about how conversations need to change – who on earth does O’Brien think he is?
He displays a classic supremacist, imperialist mindset. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians want the type of state that O’Brien is selling. O’Brien is no different from those in the 1800s that thought they knew best and imposed the will of the European empires on the rest of the world. Sitting in plush offices inside the world’s most powerful nation, he actually seeks to impose ‘regime change’ on MENA’s only functioning democracy. Why? What gives him the right to override the wishes of the Israeli population?
Does he ask them what they want? Is he at all interested? No, of course not. He knows that with Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, the Islamic Jihad and numerous other radical Islamist terror groups all out to destroy Israel, the Israelis are not going to be fooled by modern leftist doublespeak. So Amnesty talks to naive and easily fooled Europeans and Americans about how Israel needs to be forced into submission.
He ignores the wishes of the only democratic nation in the region, wants to destroy their state, force them into submission and then he dares to speak about respecting human rights. Is there no limit to this man’s hypocrisy?
And ‘submission’ is the right word. Because every nation in the MENA region bar one, is an Islamist dominated oppressive state. There is not a single MENA state in which human rights are observed and protected to the level that they are inside Israel. Not one. So the problem is not human rights. If it were about human rights, there are a few dozen states that would be well ahead in the queue. The problem is that unlike every other state in the region – Israel has a Jewish character. And that is the *only* reason it is being targeted.
The Islamists want Israel gone. And NGOs like Amnesty, that have been absorbing employees who wave the flag of Pakistan, support the Pakistani cricket team and celebrate Pakistan’s independence day, have bent to the ideological bias of their politicised employees. They don’t see anything wrong with the dozens of states that declare Islam to be the state religion in their constitutions. There is little noise from Amnesty as Islamist state after Islamist state suffocates everything but Islam from within their borders. But they scream ‘genocide’ when Jews build houses in Jerusalem. The other group of Amnesty employees, ‘leftist progressive supremacists’, have been cornered into only being allowed to deal with things that do not offend their co-workers. Have you seen what bothers Amnesty these days? Over the last 4 years it has been Trump, Palestine, Kashmir, the Uighurs and Myanmar. Almost nothing else got a look in.
The Amnesty International that we knew has gone. They may as well be taking their orders directly from Qatar or Pakistan.
Tokenising Jews, silencing their voice
We are left with O’Brien sitting in his ivory tower talking about Jews. He says he knows what Jews think. He disagrees with surveys that suggest he may be wrong. O’Brien clearly thinks he knows Jews better than they know themselves. British Jews know this antisemitic feature of the hard-left all too well. We dealt with it as it ran rampant through the Labour Party. People telling Jews that they knew better than the Jews, what being Jewish was about.
Since when was it in Amnesty’s remit to cast aside surveys of American Jews and suggest that Amnesty know better?
Like many, O’Brien does not understand ‘Jews’ at all. I am sure he has one or two Jewish friends. People, with one foot already outside of the community who have turned their ‘Jewishness’ into something abstract and meaningless. Just as the Corbynites hid behind fringe hate groups like Jewish Voice for Labour, Amnesty have found their ‘acceptable’ Jews now too.
But Jews won’t be told by naive fools such as O’Brien what they do or do not want. We will reject Amnesty’s blatant antisemitism. The Jewish people were stateless for long enough. We know all too well how high the price can be for political impotence. And as we look at Ukraine – it is worth reminding ourselves of the reality of the world that we live in. The world needs a Jewish state that is independent and capable of defending itself. We need Israel. This is not up for debate.
Seeking the destruction of Israel
So now we know for sure. Amnesty International is seeking the destruction of Israel. O’Brien has his vision. He calls it a ‘Jewish safe space’. He says Israel should not exist as ‘a Jewish state’. We recognise this terminology. It is the same language that BDS uses. With Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all making genocidal threats, O’Brien is trying to convince Jews they live in ‘Switzerland’.
He has the same problem many on the left do. He sees Jews as white and privileged and he sees Palestinians as ‘brown’ and gives them no agency. Rather than viewing the Islamist need for imperial domination as the problem, he sees the tiny Jewish safe haven as being the cause of the conflict. There is no point looking for logic, truth or consistency in this. It is the same incoherent modern leftist swamp in which antisemitism thrives.
The bottom line is this. Amnesty seeks the destruction of Israel. They want a world without an independent state for the Jewish people. They have clearly placed this at the top of their ideological wish list. There is no argument anymore. Amnesty International are as antisemitic as they come.
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