An Amnesty International demonstration. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Siding with anti-Semites and opposing open dialogue, Amnesty International cancelled a debate with the UK’s Jewish community over the UN’s biased human rights agency. Me must protest this unacceptable conduct! 

Amnesty International sparked outrage among the British Jewish community after citing support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in its withdrawal from an event it had organized with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), an umbrella group of major British Jewish organizations.

The event, a panel discussion on Israel and the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) bias, was scheduled to take place at Amnesty International’s London offices.

Human rights lawyer Danny Friedman was slated to chair the panel, with speakers Fred Carver of the UN Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch joining the discussion.

Amnesty withdrew from hosting the event, citing its campaign “for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements.”

“We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements,” the group stated.

In response to Amnesty’s withdrawal from the event and expressed support for BDS, the JLC said, “We have long argued that the aggressive criticism of Israeli government policy creates an environment where anti-Semitism thrives, and it is highly regrettable that on this occasion Amnesty International UK’s decision has targeted the Jewish community.”

“When a world human rights movement seeks to shut down open discussion, they have lost their moral compass,” Hillel Neuer stated. “What is Amnesty afraid of … heads spontaneously combusting?” Neuer jokingly asked.

“Amnesty disgracefully cancelled, but we will not be silenced. I am coming to the UK this week to call for a revival of the founding values of human rights, hijacked by despots and their apologists,” he added.

Amnesty, supposedly a human rights champion, contradicts its owns objectives by silencing open debate and free speech.

Furthermore, the controversial boycott of Israeli goods has nothing to do with a debate about the UNHRC or a debate on its conduct. The unwillingness to hear diverse and opposing stances and voices is the practice of dark and repressive elements, not the conduct of those who claim they are fighting for freedom for all.

We must tell Amnesty International that their conduct is unacceptable, and that protecting free speech is imperative, even if it does not like or agree with the views expressed!     

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