Amnesty International Slams Reported U.S. Push to Label It Antisemitic

Following report that U.S. plans to make such a declaration over group's criticism of Israel, Amnesty slams 'attempt to silence and intimidate' human rights organizations

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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The logo of Amnesty International seen during a news conference in Caracas, February 20, 2019.
The logo of Amnesty International seen during a news conference in Caracas, February 20, 2019. Credit: CARLOS JASSO/ REUTERS
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Amnesty International USA slammed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's reported push to label the organization as antisemitic on Thursday, saying his "baseless accusations are yet another attempt to silence and intimidate international human rights organizations."

Politico reported on Wednesday that the State Department was considering declaring Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam as antisemitic and declare that U.S. policy is not to support the groups. According to the report, the announcement is expected to come in a report from the office of the White House's antisemitism czar, Elan Carr, which would allege that the groups support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Haaretz Podcast: Why is Israel arming Azerbaijan against Armenia? Listen to Yossi MelmanCredit: Haaretz

Amnesty's statement said that the group is "deeply concerned that conflating antisemitism with legitimate criticism of Israeli government policy is detrimental not only to ending serious crimes under international law, but also to efforts to address and end antisemitism – and it may encourage other countries to make such baseless claims."

It further asserted that the group condemns settlements as illegal and that its research has shown a close correlation between settlements and violations of Palestinians' human rights.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, U.S. October 21, 2020. Credit: Nicholas Kamm/Pool via REUTERS

“We know that the governments of many countries, including the United States', would rather not have their human rights violations exposed," read the statement. "It is concerning to see Secretary Pompeo join the list of people and governments that use accusations of antisemitism to try to sweep human rights abuses under the rug.

"Any process aimed at a just and sustainable peace in Israel and the State of Palestine must include an end to systematic human rights abuses, dismantling of illegal Israeli settlements, and justice and reparation for victims of crimes under international law," the statement concluded. "This is what international norms demand, whether Secretary Pompeo likes it or not."

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