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NGO Monitor: Amnesty Int’l Planning an Assault on Israel & Jews in 2019

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The more accurate name for "Amnesty International"

{Originally posted the Emet m’Tsiyon website}

This report by NGO Monitor is shocking but believable since we know Amnesty’s anti-Israel record over the past thirty years or more. This is far from what Amnesty was originally supposed to be which was a defender of prisoners of conscience who jailed in repressive countries for their thoughts and statements but not for violence or terrorism. Over the last 30 odd years, Amnesty –following a decision of its board of directors or governing council– has been defending terrorists, especially anti-Israel terrorists.
The report below by NGO Monitor says that Amnesty will, among other things, attack and delegitimize Jewish history in Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem became important to the world, to both Christians and Muslims (not to mention Jews) because of the Jewish history of the city. The Christian faith relates in Book of Matthew, chaps. 1 & 2, that Jesus was desended from the Israelite King David of the tribe of Judah through Joseph (Chap. 1:16). Chapter 2 calls the country “Land of Israel” (verses 20-21). The place where Jesus was born is called Bethlehem of Judea (Chap. 2:5), a suburb of Jerusalem. Apparently, the parents of Jesus came to Jerusalem during one of the Jewish pilgrimage festivals: Passover, Shavu`ot [Pentecost], or Sukkot [Tabernacles]; and they could not find accomodations in Jerusalem so they went to look in nearby Bethlehem. According to the New Testament, Jesus –a Jew– was later crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem.
In Islam, the Umayyad dynasty decided to build a Muslim shrine  as well as the Farthest Mosque [Masjid al-Aqsa] mentioned in the Quran on the Temple Mount, site of successive Jewish temples, and left in ruins since the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The Umayyads knowingly built their al-Aqsa Mosque on the ruins of the Jewish Temple, and likewise the Dome of the Rock shrine was built over a huge rock fixed in the ground which the ancient Jews believed was the Foundation Stone of the world [Even haShtiyyah]. This Foundation Stone may have underlain the Temple. Be that as it may, the Umayyads and other early Muslims knew that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was a holy place which is  part of the reason why they built their Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock there. One of the Muslim names for Jerusalem is Bayt al-Maqdis which is a slightly distorted pronunciation of the Jewish name for the Temple, Beyt haMiqdash, sometimes used for the city as a whole, it seems. The more usual Muslim name for the city is al-Quds, which is derived ultimately from the Hebrew name haQodesh which refers to the holiness deriving from the Temple in Jerusalem. Some experts believe that al-Quds derives from haQodesh through the Aramaic form of haQodesh which is Qudsha.
Now, in case Amnesty is not interested in ancient history, let’s talk about the modern history of Jerusalem. The city has had a Jewish majority since the mid-nineteenth century when the city was firmly in Muslim hands [of the Ottoman Empire and local Muslims]. Since Amnesty claims to stand up for the underdog, Jews in Jerusalem as elsewhere in the Islamic domain, were second class or third class subjects. They were called dhimmis (or rayahs), as were Christians and other non-Muslims, and required to pay tribute, called jizya.
Amnesty is using its no longer deserved reputation of a defender of human rights in order to smear Israel.

Amnesty International Singling Out Jews in 2019

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Leaked documents seen by NGO Monitor and an analysis of public statements from NGO officials indicate that Amnesty International will conduct a series of intense campaigns singling out Israel in early 2019.
In this process, Amnesty will delegitimize Jewish historical connections to Jerusalem and elsewhere, as well as promote discriminatory boycotts (BDS) against Israel.

The Campaigns

Amnesty’s 2019 attacks will include at least two components:
  1. Amnesty’s Blacklist: A “new campaign targeting some of the businesses that are profiting from human rights abuses by operating in the illegal Israeli settlements.” This language mirrors that used by UN bureaucrats preparing the UNHRC blacklist. The list is aimed at economically damaging companies that are owned by Jews or do business with Israel, and is ultimately meant to harm the Jewish state. Amnesty’s campaign is timed to bolster this UN blacklist, for which Amnesty has been lobbying intensively, and to serve as an alternative should the UN not publish its list.
Amnesty documents, seen by NGO Monitor, also show the NGO specifically seeks to censure companies that educate the public about Jewish history and historical ties to Jerusalem.
  1. “Ban Israeli settlement goods”: continuation of a campaign to press governments, in particular the UK, to “to ban Israeli settlement goods from entering your markets, and to stop companies based in your country operating in settlements or trading in their goods.”  Amnesty has built dedicated website sections for this purpose. In addition, it has supported legislation in Ireland that, if enacted, will criminalize visiting Jewish historical and holy sites, including Jerusalem’s Old City, and purchasing goods and services from Jews located for whatever reason or duration in Jerusalem and over the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Amnesty’s Antisemitism Problem

Amnesty’s 2019 attacks on the Jewish state come at a time when NGO is facing increased criticism over its own deeply-rooted antisemitism.
In 2018, Amnesty antagonized the British Jewish community by cancelling a debate sponsored by the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, scheduled to be held at Amnesty’s Human Rights Centre in London. And when Amnesty conducted “an unprecedented large scale analysis of abuse against women on Twitter,” it included sexism and racism against female journalists and politicians, but not antisemitism.
Similarly, Amnesty has done little to no campaigning on the rising number of violent antisemitic incidents in the United States and Europe. In April 2015, Amnesty-UK rejected an initiative to “Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK,” as well as “Lobby the UK Government to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain” and “monitor anti-semitism closely”- the only proposed resolution at the Annual General Meeting that was not adopted.
Notably, Amnesty-UK continues to employ Kristyan Benedict, who has made multiple antisemitic comments (including against female Members of Parliament).
In other words, instead of recognizing the fight against antisemitism as a human rights issue worthy of attention, Amnesty has decided instead to ratchet up its targeting of the Jewish state.
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Printed from: https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/ngo-monitor-amnesty-intl-planning-an-assault-on-israel-jews-in-2019/2019/01/08/

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