What does the ‘A’ in Amnesty stand for?

Whatever you think, hold on a minute and note the following quote from the High Level Military Group (HLMG), an independent group of military people, and a former UN war crimes prosecutor, brought in to review Israeli military actions in the last Gaza conflict:

“Without seeking to deny the necessity or discourage in any way the practice of appropriate formal and informal checks and balances on warfare in the international system, we further note that in reviewing commentary from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a number of NGOs such as Amnesty International, and sections of the media commentary on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, there are stark, unwarranted condemnations of the IDF’s conduct that do not accord with our own examination. We believe that where ideological motivation can be discounted, the principal reason for this disparity is the absence of the appropriate military and legal expertise and judgement in much of this commentary. Our concern with this matter stems primarily from an appreciation that the misapplication of outcome-based assessments made on the basis of incomplete information and incorrect interpretation of the laws and norms governing warfare pose a concern to all democratic nations.”

In other words, Amnesty do not have a clue what they are talking about, when it comes to Gaza and military action.  Either that, or they have an ideological reason for lying.

Which is it?

I first saw this story in the Jerusalem Post, but also have now seen it covered in more detail at the Elder of Ziyon. The complete HLMG report is here. The Elder’s report, including confirmation that the HLMG found Israel’s conduct to be above reproach, is here.

This point, made time and time again by the Elder, me, and others, remains as true as it ever has:

I am unaware of anyone with significant military leadership experience who has criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

This time around, the Elder has a neat additional comment:

(And, no, I don’t include John Kerry in that category.)


So, what does the ‘A’ in Amnesty stand for? My current favorite is ‘Anti-Israel Activists.’ Maybe you have your own suggestions?

Amnesty does it again

Amnesty does what again? It engages in context free Israel bashing

From Elder of Ziyon:

Amnesty USA put out a petition, tweeted by Amnesty International, demanding that the US punish Israel for arresting Palestinian minors:

Here’s the tweet referred to:


7,000 kids arrested over twelve years! Sounds terrible!

I wondered how the US stacks up against Israel in arresting minors. After all, if Amnesty USA is telling Congress to protect Palestinian children from arrests, then certainly Israel must have a much worse record than the US in arresting juveniles.

Now, the West Bank has about 4.5 million people, so to be fair I only looked at states that have a similar population to see how many kids are arrested over the same 12 year period.

We have the statistics for most of the analysis..

Can you guess what’s coming?

Kentucky, Oregon and Oklahoma have roughly the same or fewer people than the West Bank.

Let’s start with Kentucky:

In Kentucky, between 2010 and 2012 there were over 7000 kids arrested every year.

So Kentucky arrested the same number of kids in one year, that Israel arrested in the West Bank over twelve years!

Now Oklahoma:

In Oklahoma, 200,000 were arrested since 2003..

Assuming that’s the count for 12 years, that is an average of around 17,000.

So Oklahoma arrested more than double the same number of kids in one year, that Israel arrested in the West Bank over twelve years!

Come on Oregon:

In Oregon, some 270,000 were arrested since 2003.

Assuming again that’s the count for 12 years, that is an average of over 22,000.

So Oregon arrested more than triple the same number of kids in one year, that Israel arrested in the West Bank over twelve years!

The Elder continues:

Even Wyoming, with less than 600,000 people, arrests more kids in a single year than Israel does in twelve.

Why doesn’t Amnesty-USA make any online petitions against the nation it resides in – a nation that arrests minors at 30 times the rate that Israel arrests Arab kids!

I think I know the answer to this question; it’s because each national branch of Amnesty only operates outside its own country. So, Amnesty USA does not care about human rights in the USA.

But, there’s an opening here for Amnesty in the rest of the world to poke the USA branch in the eye. What price an Amnesty Israel campaign against child arrests in the USA?

This is beyond a double standard. It shows no standards at all.

The Elder is right. What’s worse, as he also posted later, the blonde, photogenic poster kid on the tweet wasn’t arrested. She’s there for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with truth or justice.

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.

Amnesty International’s New Mission Statement?

It would appear to be this:

Amnesty International in the UK – standing up for human rights across the world, wherever justice, freedom, fairness and truth are denied. But turning a blind eye to antisemitism.”

The last sentence is my addition, based on their AGM rejection of a motion to combat antisemitism. The following press release from NGO Monitor (the original is here) about the dreadful situation, is worthy of your time:


NGO Monitor
April 21, 2015

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.

Amnesty International – the Nelsonian approach to human rights!

Politically correct human rights?

Following Sunday’s shooting of a soldier in Hebron, the Elder of Ziyon has a bulls-eye of a post:

The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Judaism’s second holiest site, is divided into two sections. The much larger section is generally accessible to Muslims, while a smaller part is accessible to Jews.

The Jewish section includes the cenotaphs of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Leah, while the Muslim side has those of Isaac and Rebecca.

On ten days a year, Jews have exclusive access to the entire building. On ten other days of the year, Muslims have full access, and Jews are barred. The Muslims, on their exclusive days, have routinely desecrated Jewish religious objects and books.

Today [Sunday] was one of the rare days that Jews could visit the room dedicated to Isaac and Rebecca. Thousands of Jews came to visit the holy site.

My son, Junior Elder, was one of them.

Close to home. Too close to home, for as Elder points out:

The murderer was upset that Jews have access to their own holy site. His gunshot was meant to deny Jews that right. No doubt, he would not have cared if he shot a child, a woman, or my son.

A frightening situation, indeed.


This is an issue of human rights. Freedom of religion is accepted by the UN, the EU and indeed the entire Western world. But the same people who pretend to energetically defend human rights, like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, are mute about the daily incitement to deny Jews those very rights. In fact, they effectively support the Muslim desecration and usurpation of Jewish holy sites by saying that the land underneath every single site is “illegally occupied” and should be, effectively, Judenrein.

HRW and Amnesty want to deny my son, and thousands of other Jews, the right to worship at and respectfully visit their holy sites.

They effectively support the same goal as the murderer of Gavriel Kovi.

In the end, they don’t care about huma rights. They care about politically correct human rights.

Their silence in the face of daily incitement against Jewish religious rights speaks volumes.

Read the whole thing, here. Then, check this out:

Palestinian Authority refrains from condemning soldier killings

The logical response to this is to issue fire on sight orders to soldiers – whether faced with men, women, or children; whether attacked by bullets, bombs, or stones. It’s not going to happen. But…

What evil resides in the Palestinian leadership? It’s name is Jew hatred.

Shamnesty International

I have a confession to make: when I was younger, I was a member of Amnesty International. I admired the work they were doing in some of the hot spots of Human Rights abuses. Gradually, however, I became more knowledgeable and aware of their work in Israel, and could no longer support them. Quite the contrary: as an organization, I despise them for their double standards and hypocrisy. They are one of the most extreme examples of an organization conducting political warfare against Israel. (Human Rights Watch is worse.) Inevitably, my hero Elder of Ziyon, has them well and truly nailed. You may want to bear this material in mind when Amnesty International’s name is next in the media. To freshen an old joke: How do you know when Amnesty International are lying? Answer: When they are talking about Israel. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a joke.