Last Monday, the UK branch of Amnesty International (AI) hosted a London event called “Complicity in Oppression: Does the Media Aid Israel?” Aid Israel? Considering the predominant bias of the world media against Israel, one could be forgiven for suspecting that an event with a title this absurd must have been an evening of standup comedy.
Alas, the agenda behind this event is no laughing matter. The discussion was co-sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO), one of whose key propaganda strategies is to equate Israel’s necessary counterterrorism measures on the West Bank and in Gaza with the reviled policies of apartheid South Africa. The “Complicity in Oppression” conference gave voice to another strategy: promoting the twisted fiction that Palestinians are being bullied and silenced by pro-Zionist lobbies that have a stranglehold on media outlets. (To get a taste of actual media complicity and bias, please revisit the extraordinary al Dura hoax.)
Regarding Monday’s event, Michael Weiss of the UK’s Telegraph wondered specifically about MEMO, “Why is Amnesty hosting a Hamas-friendly publisher of racists?”
MEMO is run by one Dr Daud Abdullah, the deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain and a signatory of the Istanbul Declaration. This gothic document states that it is the obligation of the “Islamic Nation” to “carry on jihad and Resistance” against Israel and to fight “by all means and ways” any “foreign warship” attempting to block arms smuggling to Hamas, which, last time I checked, was still a terrorist organisation according to EU and UK law.
Weiss cited this tacit support of Hamas and Amnesty’s connection to MEMO as further evidence of AI’s ongoing, “easy-breezy attitude towards religious fundamentalism.” And indeed, among MEMO’s Honorary Advisors are a pair of notable Islamists: Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss Muslim philosophy professor whose media-slick sophistication sends a thrill up the collective leg of the multi-culti Western intelligentsia, but who exposes his totalitarian side to non-Western audiences; and British Lord Nazir Ahmed, who threatened to mobilize thousands of Muslims to protest an appearance before the House of Lords by anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Weiss’ biting blog clearly touched a nerve – PSC responded to it on the event registration page itself, claiming that Weiss “sinks to a new level with an attempt to sabotage a meeting discussing media bias.” Of course, by “sabotage” what they mean is that Weiss merely reported revelations about the participants’ own bias, which PSC did not refute, and raised the larger question of why the supposedly neutral Amnesty would offer a forum to such organizations.
This July marks the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International, which touts itself as being apolitical and insists on the primacy of international law and adherence to “international human rights standards.” All well and good in theory, except that the reality is that submission to international law often results in Kafkaesque assaults on truth like the trial of Geert Wilders, and any concept of an “international standard” of human rights quickly loses validity when one considers the rogue’s gallery of human rights abusers, like Iran, dominating such transnational bodies as the United Nations Human Rights Council.
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