Sunday, 22 May 2011

Amnesty Hosting Antisemites

Tomorrow Amnesty International in London is hosting a debate called "Complicity in Oppression: Does the Media Aid Israel?", by the pro-Hamas Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO).

MEMO is run by Dr Daud Abdullah, a Hamas supporter who signed the "Istanbul Declaration", which calls for "Resistance against the Jewish Zionist occupation" and attacks on any ships who attempt to block the smuggling of arms to Hamas. MEMO also have articles written by Khalid Amaryeh, including one where he denies that Jews (or, as he calls them, "these pathological liars from Eastern Europe") have any historical connection to the land of Israel. Another MEMO article, by Kathleen Christison discusses "Zionist influence over civil society and policymakers" and, you think she won't go there but she does, "Jewish influence in the economies, the film industries, the media and academia in key Western countries". MEMO also recently published an article by by Skeikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who raised money for Hamas and claims that Jews use the blood of gentile children to bake bread.

Michael Weiss's piece in the Telegraph criticises the relationship between Amnesty and MEMO, and asks readers to ask Amnesty why they are hosting an event by an antisemitic organisation.

In response to the piece, Khalid Amaryeh* of MEMO wrote another article comparing Israel to Nazis, which is not only absurd and insulting to the 6 million Jews who were killed, but also, by definition, antisemitic. And in the comments section on Richard Millett's blog post on the issue, he wrote to another commenter, "I don't give a damn whether you are a kike or not".

Naturally, none of the above is the most concerning part of the event. From Harry's Place:
"The speakers at the MEMO / PSC event include Abdel Bari Atwan, who will “dance in Trafalgar Square” if Iran nukes Israel, loves Israelis-are-Nazis abuse, and was a fan of Saddam Hussein; Tim Llewellyn, a freelance Israel hater with quite a taste for antisemitic language; and Victoria Brittain, who has made a career out of promoting some of the worst extremists. Abu Qatada of Al Qaeda, for example, is a victim of 'casual racism'."
Overall, this is not at all surprising from Amnesty. These so-called "human rights" organisations have a long history of controversy and corruption in their links with terrorists, antisemites and their supporters, and singling out Israel for condemnation and unfounded accusations. Recently, Human Rights Watch even took the opportunity when Osama Bin Laden was killed, to criticise "the US and other countries who resort to torture, ill-treatment, and other violations of [terrorists'] basic rights", but later changed this statement, realising that most people probably didn't really appreciate their preaching equivalence of terror victims and the treatment of terrorists.

UPDATE: (23/5/11) *After just last week calling someone a "kike", Amaryeh wrote an article on Hamas' website - more specifically, of their "armed wing".

Also, The Guardian today published a letter from the senior editor of MEMO, and an article by one of the speakers at the debate, Tim Llewellyn, arguing that the BBC is biased towards Israel. (that would be the day!)

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