Amnesty International UK has refused to host a Jewish Leadership Council event on the grounds that the human rights group is “campaigning for a ban on Israeli settlement goods’.
The cancellation was announced on Friday, just days before Wednesday’s planned discussion at Amnesty’s offices on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s relationship with Israel.
JLC chairman Jonathan Goldstein branded the banning of a Jewish charity from Amnesty International UK’s offices “disgraceful”. He added: “For a long time our community has been deeply disappointed by Amnesty International UK’s approach to Israel and the Jewish community, yet we had sought positive engagement. By withdrawing their offer to host an event on the role of the UN Human Rights Council, it is clear that Amnesty International UK’s claim ‘to protect freedom of expression’ is only on their terms.
“We have long argued that the aggressive criticism of Israeli government policy creates an environment where antisemitism thrives and it is highly regrettable that on this occasion Amnesty International UK’s decision has targeted the Jewish community.”
Amnesty had initially agreed to join the panel debate, but withdrew months ago. The human rights group had also agreed to let the event take place in its office space, before Friday’s u-turn.
The JLC said it would find a new location for the talk, to be chaired by Danny Friedman QC, with speakers including Fred Carver of the UN Association, and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.