Amnesty rejects call to campaign against antisemitism

By Rosa Doherty, April 21, 2015

Amnesty International has rejected a motion to tackle the rise in antisemitic attacks in Britain at its annual conference.

The motion was tabled by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps in March who said it was defeated at the International AGM on Sunday by 468 votes to 461.

Mr Thorpe Apps said: “It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference.”

Amnesty International UK press officer Neil Durkin said: "After a really interesting debate where everyone condemned discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups, our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus.

"Amnesty International fights against discrimination in all its forms, and will continue to do so."

He said: "Amnesty UK's Board, which supported the resolution, will be considering the outcome of the vote at their next meeting."

In April 2012 the charity published a report into discrimination against Muslims.

The report titled Choice and Prejudice Discrimination against Muslims in Europe said:

“The aim of this report is to focus on discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and to illustrate some of its consequences on Muslims in Europe.”

In March the charity confirmed the resolution calling for the group to “campaign against antisemitism in the UK and lobby the government to tackle the rise in attacks” had been accepted for discussion at the conference.

Mr Thorpe-Apps said he put forward the motion because “I recently joined and I believe passionately about human rights.

“I was aware that the organisation has been outwardly pro-Palestine in the past but it hasn’t stood up for the Jewish population and I think it would be good if they did that.

“I’m not Jewish myself but I’ve been appalled by what I’ve seen in the press facing the Jewish community and an organisation like Amnesty should really add their voice to that as they do with other human rights issues.”

Mr Thorpe-Apps called on Amnesty to back the recent report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

Last updated: 6:10pm, April 21 2015