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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anti-Semitic Scandal Involving Amnesty International Arises in Finland

Amnesty International has been hit with a new scandal:

"The head of Amnesty International’s Finnish branch, Frank Johansson, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he stands by his statement that Israel is a 'scum state.'

. . . .

An English translation of Johansson’s blog first appeared Tuesday on the Web site Tundra Tabloids, a pro-Israel blog that monitors anti-Israeli sentiments in the Finnish media and blogosphere.

. . . .

Asked why he termed Israel a 'scum state,' Johansson told the Post in a telephone interview that it was because Israel has 'repeatedly flouted international law,' and due to his 'personal experiences inside and outside of Israel with meeting Israelis.' Johansson said that his remarks were not anti-Semitic. . . . Asked whether there are other countries aside from Israel that, according to him, meet the definition of a 'scum state,' Johansson did not specify any, but noted that there are 'Russian officials' who meet the criteria."

Johansson claims Israel is a "scum state" and can't think of any other countries that fall into this category? Obviously, Johnansson doesn't give a damn about state-sanctioned honor killings, hangings, stonings, decapitations and whipping of women, gays and minorities throughout the Muslim Middle East. Nor could he care less, for example, about capital punishment and oppression in China. Yet, Johansson would have us believe, and perhaps even deludes himself into thinking, that he is not anti-Semitic.

This latest scandal involving Amnesty International comes on the heels of the Marc Garlasco outrage at Human Rights Watch. As observed several months ago by The Sunday Times following the revelation that HRW's military expert was a collector of Nazi meorabilia:

"[HRW] accused those who raised the issue of Garlasco’s hobby of being part of 'a campaign to deflect attention from Human Rights Watch’s rigorous and detailed reporting on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the Israeli government'. It even used the word 'conspiracy': its programmes director, Iain Levine, later went so far as to directly accuse the Israeli government of being behind it. But he provided no evidence for the charge.

The vehemence of Human Rights Watch in defending Garlasco surprised many. But it made sense for two reasons. Though HRW relishes complaints from infuriated dictatorships, it is not used to its personnel and methods being questioned at home.

. . . .

Some conflict zones get much more coverage than others. For instance, HRW has published five heavily publicised reports on Israel and the Palestinian territories since the January 2009 war.

In 20 years they have published only four reports on the conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir, for example, even though the conflict has taken at least 80,000 lives in these two decades, and torture and extrajudicial murder have taken place on a vast scale. Perhaps even more tellingly, HRW has not published any report on the postelection violence and repression in Iran more than six months after the event.

. . . .

I interviewed a human-rights expert at a competing organisation in Washington who did not wish to be named because 'we operate in a very small world and it’s not done to criticise other human-rights organisations'. He told me he was 'not surprised' that HRW has still not produced a report on the violence in Iran: 'They are thinking about how it’s going to be used politically in Washington. And it’s not a priority for them because Iran is just not a bad guy that they are interested in highlighting. Their hearts are not in it. Let’s face it, the thing that really excites them is Israel.'"

"The thing that really excites them is Israel"? What a surprise. Israel is also what has many so-called "liberal" journalists at The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN salivating at the thought of any news item, however small, that can be used to denigrate the Jewish state.

And their willingness to ignore the must vile human rights violations occurring elsewhere in the world? Observe how much coverage the imminent stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Iran, which resulted in demonstrations throughout the world, received, for example, at The New York Times.

Yet all of these pundits and soothsayers of the Left will go to their deathbeds denying that their activities were tainted by anti-Semitism.


  1. I wonder what other Finns think about this guy.
    During the WWII, Finland was uniquely not anti-Semitic

    Probably, it has changed the same way, as with their neighbors in Sweden.

    Also, it is amazing to me that before the Obama's election this link between being Left and being anti-Semitic was not apparent for me at all. It was not a common knowledge, as it is now. Or is it just me?

  2. During Israel’s Gaza campaign, my doorbell rang and when I opened the door, two solicitors for Amnesty International stood in front of me. Believing in the cause, I had always contributed in the past. But I had recently visited the Amnesty International’s web site and splashed across the home page was “White phosphorous” and Israel’s alleged war crimes. Nowhere to be seen on the web site was any mention of Hamas’ rocket attacks against the Israeli civilian population. I asked the solicitors why this was so. They looked at each other for a second and said “This is not necessarily our belief, but Amnesty International holds Israel to a higher standard.” So, I said “And because of this higher standard, it’s ok for Israeli citizens to die from rocket attacks—-Amnesty International’s “higher standard” makes this not only not a crime, but in fact a non-event?” The solicitors could not or would not answer. Nor did the leaders of Amnesty International respond when I wrote them a letter expressing my deep concerns.

    After supporting them for decades, to Amnesty International and their fund-raisers I will, from this time forth say:

    Never again.

  3. you might try googling HRW and iran, or HRW and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. there's a big pic of her on their web page accompanying their report (on her!) from aug 8th.. also their coverage of the one year iran elections including

    "Iran: Crisis Deepening One Year After Disputed Elections
    Press release
    Jun 10, 2010

    Iran’s government is tightening its grip, harassing, imprisoning, and using violence against its own people one year after the disputed 2009 presidential election and the start of its brutal crackdown. "

    sometimes research is your friend! HRW has over 30 reports on iran this year alone thus far.


  4. anon August 25, 2010 12:59 PM :

    Victims of Gaza and Southern Israel conflict still await justice

    "An Amnesty International research team in southern Israel and Gaza during and in the immediate aftermath of the fighting found compelling evidence of war crimes and other serious violations by Israeli forces and by Palestinian armed groups.

    The hundreds of unguided rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups at Israeli towns and villages were incapable of being directed at specific targets. They killed three civilians, injured others, damaged civilian buildings in southern Israel, and displaced thousands from their homes."

    jan 09 (during the war) amnesty international report.

    Palestinian Authority: Hamas' deadly campaign in the shadow of the war in Gaza: Media Briefing

    Nowhere to be seen on the web site was any mention of Hamas’ rocket attacks against the Israeli civilian population.

    maybe they didn't look hard enough, if you google amnesty international and hamas rockets you can read the reports.