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Amnesty International withdraws from event with UK Jewish community, citing support for BDS

Amnesty International sparked outrage among the British Jewish community after citing support for the anti-Israel BDS movement in its withdrawal from an event it had organized with the Jewish Leadership Council.

A BDS movement protest against Israel. Credit: Mohamed Ouda via  Wikimedia Commons.
A BDS movement protest against Israel. Credit: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

Amnesty International sparked outrage among the British Jewish community after citing support for the anti-Israel BDS movement in its withdrawal from an event it had organized with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), an umbrella group of major British Jewish organizations.

The event, a panel discussion on Israel and the United Nations Human Rights Council, was scheduled to take place Wednesday at Amnesty International’s London offices.

Human rights lawyer Danny Friedman was slated to chair the panel, with speakers Fred Carver of the U.N. Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch joining the discussion.

Amnesty withdrew from hosting the event last Friday, citing its campaign “for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements.”

“We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements,” the group stated.

In response to Amnesty’s withdrawal from the event and expressed support for BDS, the JLC said: “We have long argued that the aggressive criticism of Israeli government policy creates an environment where anti-Semitism thrives, and it is highly regrettable that on this occasion Amnesty International UK’s decision has targeted the Jewish community.”

Last November, Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan requested that Amnesty International’s eligibility quotas to operate in Israel be rescinded due to its support for BDS.

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