Why Amnesty International Shies Away from Fighting Antisemitism

Following on the failure of the UK franchise of Amnesty International rejecting a resolution at their AGM to campaign against antisemitism (see here), the Elder of Ziyon reports on a tweeted response from the organization to a query about their attitide. It said:

“We condemn all forms of hate crime and discrimination. Unfortunately we can’t campaign on everything.”

The Elder, predictably and in his inimitable style, harshly criticizes their stance. I mean, that’s not exactly a persuasive answer, is it?

I have my own theory about what is going on here.

The first mission in war is to dehumanize your enemy. In the Arab Israeli conflict, the most obvious expression of this is by Israel haters’ use of the term Zionist. For them, the marketing is all about making the undecided think in terms of Israel and its supporters, not as human beings, but as these bad, bad, people, Zionists. Of course, there are other terms and techniques used, but this is central. It is a word that in many quarters, wrongly, is connected with Fascism, another ad hominem label used by the liberals and the left to signal there is no need to have an argument on the merits. (This is often because they cannot argue on the merits. It is astonishing how many Israel haters are ignorant about the basics, though well versed in strap lines.)

With that in mind, it is possible that some, if not many of the people opposed to campaigning against antisemitism are fearful that such a campaign would undo the dehumanization. In other words, if people see Jews and not Zionists, the dehumanization falls away. (I know there’s a flaw here. I’ll come back to it.) So the fear is that such a campaign would undermine anti-Zionsim, anti-Israel activity, because it would expose the plain fact that much – not all – such activity is, indeed, antisemitism.

The flaw? There are some out there, no doubt some in Amnesty International, no doubt many throughout the world, who will be unaffected by any change, by any campaign against antisemitism: the antisemites, of course. But these people, will always hate.

Finally, I wonder how representative Amnesty International UK’s membership is of the general population? Of those of a ‘liberal’ political persuasion. Of those of a ‘leftish’ political persuasion? Were I living in the UK, this would be a bad, bad, sign.

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