Last week, I attended an event at the Women’s National Democratic Club (no formal relationship with the Democratic Party) in Washington, D.C. for an event on Palestinian rights with executive director of Amnesty International USA, Paul O’Brien. The event was advertised as an opportunity for one of the world’s most recognized human rights organizations to present and celebrate its recent report accusing Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, of the vile crime of apartheid.
During his talk, Mr. O’Brien did not mince his words. He told the audience that Amnesty “takes no political views on any question, including the right of the State of Israel to survive” and that Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state.” (Mr. O’Brien claims that his words were “misreported,” but you can hear them in an audio recording published by Jewish Insider.) His talk implied that Israel as a Jewish-majority sovereign nation was in direct conflict with Palestinian rights, precluding the possibility that one might insist upon the humanity and inalienable right to self-determination of both peoples.
This binary view presented by Mr. O’Brien is common in the global human rights community, which sets up Palestinian rights in direct opposition to Israel’s existence. It’s why instead of aggressively critiquing Israel, as Amnesty does regarding other countries where it operates, Amnesty instead decided to single out Israel for unparalleled opprobrium in its new report, using the wildly inapplicable word “apartheid” to shock the conscience and name the Jewish state as uniquely evil among the community of nations…
Amanda Berman is the Founder and Executive Director of Zioness