The director of Amnesty International U.S.A. on Wednesday claimed Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state” following his institution’s release of a debatable report on Israel that caused some backlash from U.S. officials.
Instead of an explicitly Jewish state, American Jews wish for a “safe Jewish space,” Executive Director Paul O’Brien claimed. O’Brien requested the support from the Jewish community to “collectively change the conversation” and aid in welcoming a secular state by adhering to “core Jewish values, which are to be principled and fair and just.”
“Amnesty takes no political views on any question, including the right of the State of Israel to survive,” O’Brien pointed out.
O’Brien expressed his thoughts and opinions, which were actually reported on by Jewish Insider, at an occasion thrown by the Woman’s National Democratic Club. The director of the human-rights group acted in defense for a report released last month by his parent organization that pointed the finger at Israel for allegedly carrying out an apartheid against the Palestinian people and attempted to push for Israeli officials to face legal consequences through international courts.
That same record was resoundingly opposed by State Department officials as well as lawmakers on all sides. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) called it a “gross mischaracterization” that sustained “longstanding tropes” concerning the Jewish state.
O’Brien associated Democrats’ animosity toward the report to meetings that representatives had held with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as per the Jewish Insider divulged.
The director was absolute in resisting the presence of Israel as a state for the Jewish people.
“The right of the people to self-determination and to be protected is without a doubt something that we believe in, and I personally believe that,” O’Brien exclaimed. “We are opposed to the idea—and this, I think, is an existential part of the debate—that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people.”