Amnesty International in fresh call for Israel boycott

Human rights organisation urges UK ban on goods from 'occupied Palestinian land' on 50th anniversary of Six-Day War


Amnesty International, the human rights organisation which has been a consistent critic of Israel, has called on countries to stop the import of goods worth hundreds of millions of pounds produced on “occupied Palestinian land”.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty’s UK branch, said Britain should “do the legally and morally right thing and introduce a ban on the import and sale of all goods produced in the Israeli settlements.”

For decades, the world had “shamefully stood by as Israel has destroyed Palestinians’ homes and plundered their land and natural resources for profit.”

In a press release which referred to the 50th anniversary of “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip”, Amnesty also criticised “a wide range of human rights violations” by Israel, including the demolition of Palestinian homes and the forcible displacement of “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians”.

It added that Israel had also unlawfully seized control of Palestinian natural resources such as land and water and imposed arbitrary restrictions on Palestinian access to these.

The Board of Deputies (BoD) condemned the campaign as "utterly shameful", saying it ignored "stabbings, vehicle-rammings and shootings committed by Palestinians" against Israelis.

Marie van der Zyl, the BoD vice president, added: "Neither does it mention the war crime of indiscriminate rocket attacks directed specifically at Israeli civilians by Hamas and other terrorist groups. Amnesty International needs to remember that human rights are universal and apply to Israelis as well.”

Paul Charney, Chairman of the Zionist Federation, questioned the motives behind the campaign, accusing Amnesty International of promoting a "divisive ideology".

Mr Charney said: "For years now Amnesty have appeared to have an unfathomably disproportionate interest in Israel, seemingly more so than any other conflict.

"For them to promote the ideals of separation and one-sided condemnation, rather than to support peace initiatives, shows us that Amnesty are politically motivated and more interested in painting Israel in negative a light than aiding Palestinians.

"Shame on Amnesty for not using the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and the renewal of access to religious sites for all religions in Jerusalem as an opportunity to talk about bringing people together, rather choosing to continue to drive them apart."

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