New York, NY, January 30, 2022 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) issued the following statement concerning Amnesty International UK’s upcoming report on Israel:
“We have reviewed Amnesty International UK’s upcoming report on Israel and strongly condemn it as an effort to demonize Israel and undermine its legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic state. In an environment of rising anti-Jewish hate, this type of report is not only inaccurate but also irresponsible and likely will lead to intensified antisemitism around the world.
This new report goes beyond criticizing Israeli policies and actions to painting Israel's very creation as illegitimate, immoral, and faulted. Amnesty International’s allegations that Israel’s crimes go back to the sin of its creation in 1948, serve to present the Jewish and democratic state as singularly illegitimate at its foundational roots. Such a hateful characterization not only delegitimizes the Israeli state enterprise and the Jewish right to self-determination in its historic homeland, but also undermines the vision of a mutually negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will provide security, dignity, and self-determination to both peoples.
In addition, by using extreme language to attack Israel – including calling it an apartheid state, accusing it of ethnic cleansing and of committing war crimes – it feeds into an environment that emboldens those who seek to dismantle Israel, and casts aspersions on those who support a Jewish and democratic state, including the vast majority of Jews around the world and creates fertile ground for a hostile and at times antisemitic discourse. In an age of expanding antisemitism, this cost simply cannot be ignored.
ADL strongly disagrees with many condemnatory conclusions made in the report regarding Israeli policies and actions, particularly in its lack of context and regarding the inaccurate characterizations of Israel's treatment of its Arab citizens. Finally, we reject altogether the report’s call for a right of return of all Palestinian refugees, which would mean in effect, the end of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
ADL believes human rights organizations play an important role in civil society. Israel’s actions, like those of every country, should be subject to scrutiny and criticism, and indeed, ADL itself has called out certain Israeli policies. However, in issuing this report, Amnesty International is clearly not seeking to constructively inform or even challenge Israeli policies. The report instead adds to the false and malicious drumbeat that depicts the Jewish state as uniquely, fundamentally, and inalterably malign, a hateful, biased characterization that must be rejected. Amnesty International's rhetoric is irresponsible. These are not simply abstract words but the kind of spurious charges that, time and again, have placed Jews in danger around the world.”