‘Hate’ in Amnesty email

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

day faced a pro-Is­rael counter-demon­stra­tion.

The or­gan­iser of the pro-Is­rael protest, Mar­tine Vaiz­man, said the mood had been con­cil­ia­tory. “We were able to en­ter into dia­logue. We even held a minute’s si­lence for all the dead on both sides. We wanted pro­test­ers to leave alone an in­no­cent Bri­tish busi­ness which hap­pens to sell Is­raeli prod­ucts.”

An ap­peal by the Mus­lim Coun­cil for Bri­tain not to al­low the Gaza con­flict to dis­rupt in­ter­faith re­la­tions in the UK was wel­comed by the Board of Deputies. In a state­ment posted on its web­site Dr Shuja Shafi, MCB sec­re­tary­gen­eral, urged Jews and Mus­lims to “re­mem­ber the im­por­tance of ci­vil­ity and cour­tesy be­tween each other”.

Board vice-pres­i­dent Jonathan Arkush said it was “an im­por­tant state­ment from the MCB and we recog­nise that it marks a sig­nif­i­cant change of tone.” The Board has not had for­mal re­la­tions with the MCB for a num­ber of years after a fall­out from pre­vi­ous Gaza hos­til­i­ties.

AMNESTY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL has been ac­cused of send­ing out an email “filled with hate, lies, dis­torted facts and mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of re­al­ity” by a rel­a­tive of one of the 3 Is­raeli teenagers mur­dered on the West Bank last month, after its UK cri­sis cam­paigns man­ager ap­pealed to sup­port­ers to lobby against arms sales to Is­rael.

In 2011, Krys­tian Bene­dict, in whose name the email was sent, threat­ened to “smack” a pro-Is­rael cam­paigner. The fol­low­ing year he was sub­ject to a dis­ci­plinary tri­bunal after tweet­ing a joke about three Jewish MPs. The panel found that the joke was “in­ap­pro­pri­ate and of­fen­sive”.

Last week Mr Bene­dict dis­trib­uted an email which said, in ref­er­ence to IDF in­juries to civil­ians, that there was “a risk arms from the UK are fa­cil­i­tat­ing such war crimes”.

In a let­ter to Kate Allen, Amnesty’s UK Direc­tor, Elon Perry said the email had failed to men­tion Is­raeli vic­tims. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also ig­nored Ha­mas’s use of chil­dren and civil­ians “as a shield when fir­ing their rock­ets from civil­ian build­ings”, he said. “Is­rael is ac­cused of killing civil­ians be­cause Ha­mas fires rock­ets at Is­rael only from civil­ian pop­u­la­tion ar­eas. I have spo­ken with Pales­tinian civil­ians and they have told me that they hate Ha­mas and are afraid of them. One of them even said to me, ‘All our food com­modi­ties come from Is­rael and in re­turn we send rock­ets’.”

In re­sponse, Ms Allen said that Amnesty had re­peat­edly con­demned at­tacks on civil­ians by both sides. Ha­mas’s use of crude rock­ets to at­tack tar­gets in Is­rael, she said, was “a clear war crime and we con­demn it as such, while the hor­ri­ble mur­der of Eyal Yifrach and the two other Is­raeli stu­dents was a dis­gust­ing act.

“How­ever, we are ex­tremely con­cerned that Is­rael’s at­tacks on dense­ly­pop­u­lated neigh­bour­hoods of Gaza ap­pear to have in­cluded in­dis­crim­i­nate and dis­pro­por­tion­ate bom­bard­ments of homes and hos­pi­tals”.


A pas­sen­ger in a Lam­borgh­ini in Lon­don makes an anti-Is­rael protest


Con­flict­ing view­points at the Manch­ester demon­stra­tions

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