Amnesty, UNRWA, Israel Apartheid Week – and #BDSFails

How to boycott Israel properly

How to boycott Israel properly

Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) (or is that a month? Maybe it should be a permanent item on the calendar, just like at the UN)  is always the pretext for a slew of anti-Israel reports and events by the usual suspects.

Amnesty International, one of Israel’s major human wrongs rights opponents, has produced yet another biased report. This one according to Adv. Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, reflects a lack of expertise and methodology – and in any event displays an unhealthy obsession with Israel.

“Amnesty International accusations are reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony.’”

Indeed, in a February 10 interview with Al Jazeera, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty acknowledged that “we are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.”

In its report, Amnesty makes numerous non-specific claims without any supporting evidence, such as “Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life” and the use of “arbitrary” force. In contrast, other monitoring groups such as B’Tselem acknowledge that the majority of Palestinian casualties occurred during combat or violent clashes and confrontations with Israeli security personnel. Amnesty’s removal of this essential context and abuse of the term “civilian” further highlights the lack of credibility. Similarly, in 2009, Amnesty played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, as well as in a number of other allegations targeting Israel.

Likewise, NGO Monitor has shown that Amnesty’s “research” team on Israel comprises two individuals with backgrounds in anti-Israel political activism, not military and legal expertise. (See also the Algemeiner).


“Once again, Amnesty displays its disproportionate and ideological obsession with Israel,” Prof. Steinberg continued. “The report’s publication coincides with the antisemitic BDS movement’s annual week of anti-Israel activities, using demonization to promote boycotts and sanctions. Amnesty International should be ashamed of its role in exploiting the moral foundations of universal human rights to wage political warfare against Israel.”

The Elder of Ziyon also blogged about the Amnesty report, and in a follow up post had this to say:

According to Amnesty, the IDF must wait until a soldier is killed before using lethal force. I guess there is a concept in international law that I am unaware of that you may not defend yourself until you are physically injured first.

Or does that only apply to a single party?

A quick comparison:

This report on Israel killing (by Amnesty’s count) 22 civilians in 2013 is 87 pages long.  It goes into detail about every single one of those deaths, humanizing the victims and interviewing multiple friends of each, all in an attempt to paint Israel in the worst light possible.

Amnesty’s report about Egyptian repression since July 2013, where 1400 people were killed, is only 49 pages long. It only provides details on a few specific cases, and most of those aren’t even for people being killed but for other violations of human rights.

Another viciously anti-Israel organization which aids and abets the false Palestinian refugee narrative is UNRWA – the UN agency responsible for the welfare of Palestinian refugees. To remind you, the Palestinians are the only “refugees” who are entitled to a UN agency of their own. All the rest of the worlds’ refugees together enjoy the assistance of one UN agency between them – the UNHCR.

Like Amnesty, UNRWA regularly produce anti-Israel reports.  Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Cheboun claims, correctly in my opinion, that the West is financing the bile of UNRWA: (h/t Reality)

Western countries’ funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency perpetuates Palestinian violence against Israel, former MK Einat Wilf said at a conference with foreign diplomats in the Knesset Monday, organized by MK Yoni Chetboun (Bayit Yehudi).

Chetboun opened the event by describing a recent visit to a tunnel built by Hamas “with concrete and cement that had been delivered to UNRWA by donor countries” that was used by terrorists and screened examples of incitement shown to children in UNRWA schools.

“This bile is being financed by the countries you represent,” Chetboun said. “Irrespective of how the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are viewed, everybody can agree that the future does not bode well if the next generation is consistently exposed to ideas that would not be out of place in 1935 in Berlin.”

“Would you tolerate this state of affairs in your own countries? Is it not reasonable to suggest that the aid the world sends should not enable the hate which is the cause of this incitement and terrorism in the first place?” the Bayit Yehudi MK asked the representatives from the embassies of the EU, UK, Canada, Norway, France, Turkey, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Belgium, Bulgaria and the Philippines.

The BDS movement too, is funded by the West, but not solely. According to this video produced by the pro-Israel organization Exposing Israel Apartheid Week, the Muslim Brotherhood helps fund BDS and IAW.

Honest Reporting reprimands the BDS Brigade, chiding them for ostensibly fighting for justice while using hypocrisy:

There is, of course, a significant difference between the BDS movement and Hauser’s Greater Israel and Michaelson’s right-wing Zionists. Those movements are political; BDS claims to be moral. Its call for boycott is couched in the language of justice. The essence of Israel Apartheid Week is the fight against racism.‎

Except, it isn’t really a fight against racism when it’s carried out by racists and Jew haters. And even supporters of the BDS movement who are not themselves anti-Semitic are aware of the anti-Semitism that permeates the movement. And a movement that tolerates anti-Semitism lacks moral authority.‎

In a recent column in Haaretz, Peter Beinart suggested that organized Jewish groups would be more effective in the fight against BDS if they actively opposed settlement growth as a sign of commitment to the two-state solution. A similar test can be applied to BDS. The movement would be more credible in its calls for justice if it made a credible effort to fight anti-Semitism, beginning with the anti-Semitism of its own members, alongside the fight for the rights of Palestinians.

‎You can’t fight for justice with hypocrisy, and there is no bigger hypocrisy today than Israel Apartheid Week.‎

The BDS brigade think they are being so original and so radically chic, but in fact they are in old and bad company, proving that Antisemitism never really disappears. It just mutates under a different guise.  The BDS movement was already in existence in 1930, long before the “settlements” excuse; in fact long before there was an Israel at all.  Here is one example of a news item from those days:

Anti-Jewish boycott in 1930 Palestine

There are more news clippings at the link.

RJ Streets at Israellycool has a similar pictorial essay about the original anti-Israel boycott in the years from 1936-1939: Here’s her apt commentary:

BDS and Anti-Israel Israel Apartheid Week organizers must be very busy this year, as their month long hate festival has now sprawled to a five full weeks.

Before their lies, hate and narratives get into full swing, it is time for a truth about Palestine.

Go back to 1936, long before there were “Israeli occupied settlements” as an excuse and no one heard of the “West Bank.”

A boycott of the Jews of Palestine was called by Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Violence and riots followed.


But because of the boycott, the Jews of Palestine developed their own improved agricultural systems and were no longer dependent on Arab farmers.

1936-1939, could very well be the first #BDSFail.

Speaking of BDS failures, otherwise known as #BSDFail as mentioned above, the Elder of Ziyon has a list of impressive #BDSFails, enough to give heart to the most pessimistic of Israel’s supporters:

Norwegian Store Chain Drops SodaStream Boycott

MIFF notified Staples it would publicize that Staples was a boycotting company, thus potentially hindering its international sales.


General data shows BDS organizations have failed not only with Staples and SodaStream, but in regards to all trade between Israel a Norway.

In fact, for the fifth consecutive year imports from Israel to Norway have increased more than imports from other countries.

California Chapter of ASA refuses to apply anti-Israel academic boycott

Despite the ASA Executive Committee attempt to shut down the flow of information to me from ASA Regional Chapters, I again reached out to multiple Chapters as to whether the boycott would be applied at the regional level.
I can confirm that one of the most active ASA Chapters — the California American Studies Association (CASA) — will not apply the boycott to any of its activities, incuding the upcoming regional conference in April in Berkeley.

UCLA Student Council rejects anti-Israel divestment resolution

After an all-night session, the UCLA student council defeated an ant-Israel divestment resolution by a vote of 7-5.

This is a huge defeat for BDS on campus. Divestment resolutions recently were overturned at UC-Riverside and defeated at UC-Santa Barbara. 

BDS bad Karma: Co-op to report worst results in history

The Co-op Group’s losses for 2013 are expected to be greater than £2bn, by far the worst in its history, when they are announced on 26 March.

May all Israel’s haters suffer similar failures. Maybe they and their supporters will think twice before attempting to unfairly target Israel.

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1 Response to Amnesty, UNRWA, Israel Apartheid Week – and #BDSFails

  1. cba says:

    For some more BDS Fail yummyness, see the videos on the Sussex Friends of Israel FB page

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