Amnesty can't get off this hook

By Richard Millett, May 26, 2011
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At one stage it looked as if Amnesty might cancel Monday's joint PSC/MEMO event. But, finally, it released a statement, which said that after "some concerns" the event would go ahead as planned. It did not outline specific concerns, but there is a strong clue in the next paragraph in which Amnesty stated that PSC and MEMO had issued statements condemning "all forms of racism, anti-Jewish sentiment and Islamophobia".

Concerns about such anti-Jewish sentiment were raised by Michael Weiss in his Daily Telegraph blog about Khalid Amaryeh, a major contributor to MEMO. Amaryeh recently referred to a Jewish man as a "kike", the equivalent of the dreadful "N" and "P" words, and continued: "If you were a woman you probably would be a whore." Amaryeh refers to Israelis as "these pathological liars from Eastern Europe" and to "Jewish settlers" as "Nazis".

Amnesty's official line is that it was only offering a space for Monday's event, not officially supporting it, but Amnesty itself is not beyond reproach when it comes to anti-Jewish sentiment. At a recent Amnesty event various "experts" showed slides to illustrate how Israel was deliberately destroying Palestinian society.

One slide showed a Palestinian teenager with a small, and perfectly formed, star of David on his arm, allegedly tattooed there by an Israeli soldier, using just a piece of broken glass. If this really happened the soldier should have been jailed. Attempts to prove the provenance of the photo have proved futile - but if it is a hoax then Amnesty should issue an apology.

Last updated: 1:58pm, May 26 2011