The “Jewish community” comes under attack at Amnesty.

The UN's Hamed Qawasmeh (right) next to the chairperson at Amnesty in London on Monday.

The UN’s Hamed Qawasmeh (right) next to the chairperson at Amnesty in London on Monday.

It didn’t take too long for yet another anti-Israel event at Amnesty International to spill over into criticism of Jews. It was Monday night and Hamed Qawasmeh had finished speaking on the subject of Human Rights in Hebron and Area C of the West Bank.

Qawasmeh is a long time employee of the United Nations and his current remit is to “document human rights violations in the southern West Bank” (apparently human rights violations don’t extend as far as the recent cold-blooded murders of two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, one in Hebron itself. Neither murder was mentioned during the event).

Qawasmeh described how Israel uses its control of Area C (granted to Israel under the Oslo Accords) to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. It does this, he said, by refusing to grant building permits, by demolishing Palestinian homes, by evictions and by building military zones and nature reserves so as to confiscate more land. Then there are the roadblocks, checkpoints and “separation wall”.

He claimed the Israeli government refuses to allow Israeli electricity companies to build electricity pylons for Palestinian homes near Jewish settlements.

Quite magnanimously, Qawasmeh did say that he had no problem with Israel wanting to protect its own people by building the wall, but that the wall should stick to the “1967 border” and not snake into the West Bank.

During the Q&A I stated that “settlements” are not illegal and that the so-called “1967 border” was not a border but merely an armistice line. I also said that when visiting Hebron twice I had seen many palatial Palestinian-owned houses en route.

I had intended to go on to ask how there could be any peace while Palestinian Authority television shows Palestinian children saying they want to become “martyrs” and with the Hamas calling for the murder of Jews via their Charter.

But by then the audience was getting restless and vocal and the chairperson was telling me I had taken up enough time. I tried to persist with my question but it got lost in a noise of insults. Meanwhile, a woman from the audience approached me and held my arm while asking me to leave the room with her.

I slumped back into my chair and stayed silent as the discussion moved onto how Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian children on their way to school and how Israel rounds up large numbers of Palestinian “kids” and tortures them under interrogation.

I felt I had to challenge such allegations, upon which Abe Hayeem rose to his feet (you can read all about Hayeem here). Hayeem pointed at me and said:

“He must be removed. He disrupts every meeting. He signifies the sort of people that are in Hebron. And I suggest that your (Qawasmeh’s) presentation should be made to the Jewish community here. The total injustice and criminality of what has happened here doesn’t penetrate him…”

This seemed to be a totally unprovoked attack on “the Jewish community”. But instead of being criticised for such an outburst Qawasmeh assured Hayeem that he gives his presentation to Israelis and also to “Jews who come from the States”.

On leaving the room at the end of the event I was confronted by a young woman who told me that her grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor, would be ashamed of my behaviour. Someone else told me that she had no problem with Hamas. I was also twice told that my manner was too aggressive and that I was “not helping my own cause”.

Overlooking these shenanigans was Amnesty’s campaigns manager Kristyan Benedict. Benedict once tweeted “Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon and Luciana Berger walk into a bar…each orders a round of B52s … #Gaza”. The three MPs happen to be Jewish. He also once threatened to beat me up after another Amnesty event, again after I had questioned what I had heard.

According to the Jewish Chronicle Benedict was forced to apologise for his tweet and Amnesty said that he would “focus his energy on managing AIUK’s crisis work, particularly the human rights crisis in Syria”.

But on Tuesday night he wasn’t focusing on Syria. He was at this disgusting anti-Israel event, albeit not chairing it for once.

Old habits obviously die hard.

13 responses to “The “Jewish community” comes under attack at Amnesty.

  1. I resent every penny I gave to that organisation in the past, when I fell for their PR, or perhaps – like the UN in the past Amnesty Internationale did some good things. But whoever today gives money to these outfits who hide a lot of ugliness behind a “caring/sharing” facade, should now that they are financing vilification of the Jewish people and promotion of terrorism.

  2. Thank you for reporting on the activities of these evil people. They need to be dealt with now. If there are enough who are willing to sign a petition against their incitement to hatred perhaps something could be done . Note the news about Israeli who managed to get compensation from Warwick University against lecturer who marked her down.

    Perhaps your readers would like some good news for the Jewish holiday . See

  3. By the way, did they notice that the armistice lines they confuse with a border is dated 1949, not 1967?

  4. Hi,Richard,I belong to a group `Bournemouth Action for Israel` BAFI.We attended the same event yesterday evening (25/9 )..However not under the auspices of Amnesty International`we are pleased to say. It was held at Winchester University . Every question our team and a few of our CFI friends threw at him he was unable to answer and muttered total waffle in reply.The supporters he had called us `A Caucus` which in magnanimity we
    welcomed as an American compliment! as we knew the subtext really meant Jewish clan!

  5. I was at the same meeting as Paul at the U of Winchester. As the pro Israel group was a larger proportion of the audience it was better natured than your experience at Amnesty. I told Mr. Qawasmeh that the settlements were legal. He tried to get off the subject but I wouldn’t let him. He obviously had not learned anything by your intervention – he thought he could still get away with his story.

  6. As ever Richard , thank you for your reporting these Israel hate fests . The fascistic audience reaction to you demonstrates a totalitarian mind set which will never allow a balanced constructive view of the Israel Palestine dilemma . However there in lies their problem . Their reactionary agenda leaves them at the very margins of political consideration .
    Let’s not forget Finklesteins words when he labelled the BDS / PSC tendency a cult with no mainstream political support .
    It is indeed a freak show . Your attendance and report allows us to observe from afar . For that we should all be grateful .

  7. Someone sent this link to me a few days ago – also involving Abe Hayeem.

  8. I remember when charities like this were admirable

  9. I just had a look at the link from Sarah
    It would seem that Abe Hayeem posted a Video about Nigel Kennedy s comments on Israel and the failure to get to get them aired on BBC 4 . The video was put together by one Anthony Lawson who also happens to be a Holocaust revisionist ( Holocaust denier lite ) .

    Here is the ever wretched twerp of JSF Mark ELF in damage limitation mode after the discovery

    ‘I thought the thing was fairly dodgy from the outset and not even that
    careful. Roger Waters has emphasised the Jewishness of Baroness Deech by
    reference to her “N�e” name, ie Fraenkel and this video omits even that
    “subtlety” in its title.

    If you catch the last section about Gideon Levy’s cop-out on the question
    of chosenness in the Jewish religion it basically sums up where the
    production/producer is coming from.

    This Nigel Kennedy thing could be a result for us but antisemitic vultures
    are circling. This guy who made this video is one.

    By the way, I don’t think Abe reads the emails to the list so if anyone
    wants to contact him they should do so directly.


    There is the small matter that Abe Hayeem hatred of Israel is so great ,he is prepared to post a link to an antisemitic video .

    However the most interesting point is the way these Jewish self haters acknowledge the fact that Waters Baroness Deech ( nee Fraenkel ) was indeed antisemitic as evidenced by the way the Palestine Solidarity Campaign , Stop the War etc have removed the nee Fraenkel .

    . Waters is an antisemite who couldn’t quite contain himself ( needs to go to a PSC work shop and repeat ‘ Zionist never Jew ‘) . Elf goes into damage limitation noting ‘ that antisemitic vultures are hovering ‘ which is hilarious as he’s one himself being a no Israel advocate

    Great find saved and archived

  10. Richard, I commend you for your perseverance in what was an ugly and distressing scenario in which to be involved. We must continue to be vigilant in our attempts to counter these aggressive attacks, this continuing portrayal of what is now a mythology that has morphed into ‘truth’ for so many who are ignorant of history and context in regard to Israel and the Jewish people, or who simply wish to deny it and ultimately destroy it.

  11. Colin Stephenson

    Richard – Hazak U’Baruch & Kol HaKavod – keep up the good work

    Can you offer any info on how many activities Amnesty have done critical of Israel over last 2 & half years as say appose to anything with a focus Syria? I imagine little is done on Syria & one reason is that it would be very difficult for the likes of Hamed Qawasmeh to operate there. His ilk may roam free in Israel & the parts of the territories that Israel still fully controls all security matters. He can operate where he does exactly because Israel is a democratic state with full human rights extended to the Palestinians –outstandingly for the region. Of course the number of UN personnel working with him has very much to do with just how much UN pours into the Palestinian cause – they are the new chosen people

    I wonder if that young woman’s grandmother really would have been ashamed of you – I wonder if she had been one of those who witnessed events in Germany in the 1930’s she would not have seen frightening similarities