Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Dr David Cumin, is condemning the latest act of anti-Israeli discrimination by Amnesty International calling it an ‘act of blatant bias by a once proud organisation’.
Dr Cumin was responding to a recent report in which Amnesty International ramped up its campaign calling on nation States to discriminate against Jews.
“Amnesty – a group which used to stand up for human rights – is distorting international law and facts to discriminate against Jews and the Jewish state. Their report is founded on falsehoods and promotes intolerance and discrimination.”
Dr Cumin also notes that an Arab village used as a “case study” in the Amnesty reports highlights how they discriminate and deceive in the name of delegitimizing and demonising Israel.
“Every structure in Khan al Ahmar was built illegally and it is not at all against international law for Israel to enforce building regulations to ensure safety. Indeed, many members of the nomadic Bedouin clan that resided there have already agreed to move to free, new houses built, for them, by Israel. These houses are connected to municipal plumbing and electricity and provide a better quality of life for the families which move into them”.
“If Amnesty was truly interested in human rights and peace, they would be putting pressure on Arab Palestinian leaders to negotiate with Israel for a solution to the conflict rather than giving them an excuse to stay out of any bona fide talks”.
Elsewhere in the report, Amnesty International is calling on governments to discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish businesses and boycott only Jews. Amnesty International claims that Jews living in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank – disputed land that Jordan occupied before Israel took over the area in 1967) constitutes a “war crime” – a description which Dr Cumin rejects.
“Their claim is completely false. Jews have lived in the land for millennia except when Jordan ethnically cleansed the area under its occupation from 1948-1967. The 1922 Mandate for Palestine is the only binding resolution in international law and does not make it illegal for Jews to live in their indigenous land. Furthermore, Israeli and Arab Palestinian leaders agreed that Israel would totally control parts of the West Bank under the 1993 Oslo Accords”.
Dr Cumin says that the effect of Amnesty’s actions will be to hurt Palestinians and points to statements by Palestinian Human Rights Advocate, Bassam Eid, in which he said that organisations that promote boycotts of Israel are doing so to gain money and power at the expense of the Palestinian people.
“While Amnesty International puts its energies into making claims of alleged Israeli infractions, the Palestinian people, much like the Arab world, are making it clear that they will not tolerate the rejectionist policies, corruption, and human rights abuses of the Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank for much longer”.
“Instead of the tired excuse of blaming “the occupation”, leaders and thinkers need to listen to the people and recognise that it takes two willing parties to come together and discuss a future together, in order to find solutions”.
However, Dr Cumin says it is clear that Amnesty International is not interested in peace.
“The ‘new’ Amnesty International never misses an opportunity to attack Israel and recently cited Lorde’s cancellation of her performance in Tel Aviv in a positive light rather than recognising that such performances are an opportunity to bring people together to foster understanding”.
“Sadly, Amnesty now advocates division rather than unity.”