Amnesty Votes Down Proposal for U.K. Campaign Against anti-Semitism

Human rights organization opted not to pass resolution due to its singular focus.

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An ultra-Orthodox Jew walks past the Ahavas Torah synagogue in Stamford Hill, north London, on March 22, 2015, after a suspected anti-Semitic attack there.
An ultra-Orthodox Jew walks past the Ahavas Torah synagogue in Stamford Hill, north London, on March 22, 2015, after a suspected anti-Semitic attack there.Credit: AFP

Amnesty International defeated a proposal to combat anti-Semitism in the U.K. at its annual meeting on Sunday, the Jewish Chronicle reported. The motion to run the British campaign was defeated by a vote of 468 to 461 at the conference - the only proposal to be defeated by the delegates.

"After a really interesting debate where everyone condemned discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups, our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus," Amnesty International U.K. press officer Neil Durkin said, according to the Jewish Chronicle. He said the organization's board had supported the motion and would "be considering the outcome of the vote at their next meeting."

"Amnesty International fights against discrimination in all its forms, and will continue to do so," said Durkin. In fact, Amnesty has published a number of reports on single issues and specific forms of discrimination. For example, the organization did publish in 2012 a report into discrimination against Muslims, entitled "Choice and Prejudice Discrimination against Muslims in Europe."

Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps proposed the motion in March. The resolution urged Amnesty to “campaign against anti-Semitism in the U.K. and lobby the government to tackle the rise in attacks.”

“I was aware that the organization has been outwardly pro-Palestine in the past but it hasn’t stood up for the Jewish population and I think it would be good if they did that,” Thorpe-Apps said.

Anti-Semitic acts in Britain reached a record level in 2014. According to the Community Security Trust, a charity established to ensure the safety and security of the British community, the number of incidents doubled to 1,168.

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