Well, now we know why Amnesty International is so intent on painting Israel as an “apartheid” state, as they did in a report earlier this year.
The head of Amnesty USA, Paul O’Brien, told a gathering of the Women’s National Democratic Club this week that while his organization supports self-determination for the Jewish people, it isn’t happy with the notion of a “Jewish state” in the Holy Land.
He failed to adequately explain the clear discrepancy between those two positions.
Jewish self-determination shouldn’t and can’t really happen anywhere but the Jewish people’s ancestral and biblical homeland. Nor can it possibly happen in a majority-Arab state, so a “Jewish” state it must be.
He likewise failed to acknowledge the double-standard at play. Romania is a state for the Romanian people, and minorities living there must accept that fact. The same goes for India, Finland and a long list of other countries, none of which has Amnesty ever labeled as “apartheid” states.
“Does Amnesty believe that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination, which is one of the fundamental human rights? Yes, they do,” said O’Brien, before launching into a disjointed discourse on the problem of antisemitism.
Returning to the topic at hand, O’Brien continued: “It is not Amnesty’s position, in fact we are opposed to the idea…that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people.”
In fact, O’Brien labeled this notion of a “Jewish” state as an “existential” part of the problem.
In other words, if Israel didn’t insist on maintaining a “Jewish” national character, then the conflict could be solved.
Specifically, his problem is with the Nation-State Law passed by Israel in 2018 that codified in constitutional law the Jewish character of the state and the relevant Jewish symbols representing the state.
What it did not do is impinge on the civic liberties of any citizen, Jewish or otherwise. But that seems to have been lost on O’Brien.
According to the Amnesty chief, “the 2018 law [says] that the State of Israel is preserved for Jews alone, and it should be theirs alone. And that, from a human rights perspective, is not equal treatment between the Jewish people and the Palestinian people. …I don’t believe that Israel should be preserved as a state in which one race is legally entitled to oppress another.”
This is a wholly inaccurate portrayal of the legislation in question.
For further reading on this topic, and to understand what Paul O’Brien clearly doesn’t, see:
- Israel’s New Nation-State Law, and Why It Has Nothing To Do With Racism
- The Forgotten (or Ignored) Aspect of Israel’s ‘Racist’ Nation-State Law
- Messianic Responses to Israel’s Nation-State Law