The Zionist Federation is heartened by a broadly robust response to Amnesty International’s biased and antisemitic report on Israel which was published earlier this week. We are glad that so many have spoken out against it, and are grateful to partner organisations and parliamentarians lobbying for accountability for those responsible for its publication. We will continue to support such efforts, which may include investigations by the Charity Commission.
Allegations of apartheid lie at the heart of this report. This is grossly offensive, and effectively erases the experiences of those who lived and suffered under white supremacist rule in South Africa up until the 1990s. In particular, it is these assertions we will be focusing on challenging.
Richard P Woolf, Acting Chair of the Zionist Federation says: “It is shocking that one of the world’s leading human rights charities felt fit to publish a report replete with unabashed antisemitism, and we are glad that this has not been met with silence. We would welcome a full Charity Commission investigation into Amnesty’s actions, and thank our friends at UK Lawyers for Israel for their early work on this matter.
While we would never suggest that Israel is above scrutiny, questions must be asked about why Amnesty refuse to identify this report’s authors, why its Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa (Mr Saleh Hijazi) was employed after having posted photos of terrorists on his social media accounts, and why key quotes were distorted to the point of taking on totally new meanings.
We would be happy to meaningfully engage with Amnesty on these issues, but only once the above questions have been answered, along with an explanation for why it totally omitted any mention of Palestinian violence and terrorism against Jewish Israelis.