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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
NGO Monitor: Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to

Press Release
April 21, 2015
Contact: Yakira Heller
NGO Monitor
058-668-9603
yakira.heller@ngo-monitor.org

Statement on Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to
Campaign against Antisemitism

Jerusalem - Amnesty International-UK's (AIUK) decision to reject a campaign
against antisemitism in the UK highlights the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy
of what was once a leader in human rights advocacy.

On April 19, AIUK held its 2015 Annual General Meeting, and adopted 16 of 17
motions. The only proposed resolution that was rejected called on AIUK to
"Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK," as well as "Lobby the UK
Government to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain" and
"monitor anti-semitism closely." According to the motion, "neither AIUK nor
the [Amnesty] International Secretariat have undertaken research or
campaigning work specifically on anti-Semitism in the UK."

The AIUK vote also took place in the context of repeated antisemitic
incidents within the organization itself -- in particular the activities of
staff member Kristyan Benedict, who currently is listed as "crisis response
manager." Benedict has a history of obsessive anti-Israel attacks and
antisemitic outbursts. One example involved a threat of physical violence
against a pro-Israel attendee of an event that Benedict chaired. A second
example (November 2011), Benedict tweeted an attack on three British MPs
whom he characterized as war-mongers, all of whom are Jewish. This prompted
an inquiry into Amnesty by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group against
Anti-Semitism, seeking clarification on the organizations policies towards
preventing antisemitism. He has investigated by AUIK for some of his
rhetoric; however, serious steps have not been taken.

Amnesty-UK's refusal to condemn antisemitism also comes at a time when
levels of antisemitism in Europe are at levels unparalleled since the end of
World War II. Nevertheless, an Amnesty-UK official offered a misleading
technical justification, claiming that "our membership decided not to pass
this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus." In fact, AIUK
has initiated "single focus" campaigns frequently in the past, for instance,
approving "overwhelmingly" a 2010 resolution on Sinti and Roma Communities,
and stating: "Within the last year widespread discrimination and violence
against Sinti and Roma communities has intensified in a number of European
countries, which Amnesty International has published within respective
country reports." AUIK's silence on antisemitism stands in sharp contrast.

In this context, we note that NGO Monitor research has repeatedly shown that
Amnesty International and AIUK disproportionately single out Israel for
condemnations, and focus attacks on Israel while ignoring severe and
systematic human rights violations in the region. Many Amnesty officials and
"researchers" have a history of intense anti-Israel activisms, promoting the
narrative of Palestinian victimhood and Israeli guilt, to the exclusion of
universal human rights. AUIK's decision to turn its back on antisemitism is
consistent with this immoral record.

-----------------------------------------
Anti-Israel and Antisemitic tweets by AIUK staff member, Kristyan Benedict
Tweet (November 19, 2012): "Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon & Luciana Berger
walk into a bar...each orders a round of B52s (inspired by @KarlreMarks Bar
quips) #Gaza.
Tweet (November 5, 2014): Israeli regimes response to our Gaza report:
Amnesty is "a propaganda tool for Hamas & other terror groups" (#JSIL?)
http://t.co/gqwN9O2JrK

NGO Monitor, an independent research institution, was founded in 2002 in the
wake of the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. At this
conference, 1,500 NGOs formulated the "Durban Strategy" which aims to
isolate Israel through measures such as boycott, divestment and sanctions
(BDS) campaigns, lawfare, delegitimization and demonization.

NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org), is the leading source of expertise on the
activities and funding of political advocacy NGOs involved in the
Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor provides detailed and fully sourced
information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion
on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.

# # #

mail@ngo-monitor.org

www.ngo-monitor.org

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