Despite the evidence of growing Antisemitism in the UK, mirroring the rise in Europe, Amnesty International have chosen to vote against fighting the evil of Antisemitism in this country.
The vote took place at their annual general meeting held in Warwick. On their website, Amnesty International describe the meeting as being, “Where Amnesty members from all over the UK come together to shape how we’re run.”
What was the precise wording of this ‘dreadful’ motion that Amnesty International members felt they could not support?
“This AGM CALLS On AIUK to:
• Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK.
• Lobby the UK Government to do more to tackle the rise in
anti-Semitic attacks in Britain, whether physical or verbal,
online or in person. The UK Government should monitor
anti-semitism closely and periodically review the security of
Britain’s Jewish population.”
Is it not now clear why members voted this down? No? Neither is it to AntiSemitismWatch.com!
The motion was brought to the table by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps, and was defeated by 468 votes to 461.
The motion was the only one to be defeated at the groups gathering.
What were some of the motions Amnesty International members felt they could vote in favour of?
- Addressing impunity in Guatemala
- Violation of the rights of Colombian activists
- Asylum detention in the UK
- Research into the wrongful detention of torture and trafficking victims in British detention
Following the defeat, an Amnesty spokesperson tried to down play the significance of the decision by claiming: ”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.”
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Amnesty has published numerous reports singling out other specific forms of discrimination, including a 123-page report on discrimination against Muslims in Europe.
Also, in an “overwhelming” approval it passed a 2010 resolution on discrimination towards the Sinti and Roma communities, 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.”
The Jerusalem-based think tank NGO Monitor have suggested that there have been repeated anti-Semitic incidents “within the organization itself” which included an investigation into the conduct of a member of its own staff.
ASW.com says that ultimately, one can argue it comes down to a question of perception. Amnesty International were presented with a simple and clear opportunity to demonstrate their support for the Jewish community at this troubled time and they have chosen not to. The perception left is an unpalatable one.