SIGN OUR CALL TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
On March 9th, Paul O’Brien, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, made a series of antisemitic and anti-Israel comments at an event held with the Woman’s National Democratic Club. The American Jewish Congress deeply condemns O’Brien’s behavior. As a result, we ask you to sign our petition, which will be sent to Amnesty’s Board of Directors, calling for Paul O’Brien to step down from his role as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, with immediate effect.
During his remarks, O’Brien repeatedly slandered the one true democracy in the Middle East, going as far to say that Israel “should not exist as a Jewish State.” O’Brien’s rhetoric should not be tolerated, nor should it be afforded a pedestal to spew lies upon parties interested in resolving one of the most sensitive conflicts in the world. O’Brien furthered his damaging lecture, noting that, [to change the conversation on the issue collectively], “It needs to start first and foremost with the Jewish community.” It is important to note that O’Brien, who supports an Amnesty report that improperly depicts Arab-Israelis as helpless, ignores Israel’s humanitarian aid efforts, and accuses the Israeli government of apartheid, is not Jewish.
Still, even then, O’Brien continued to fuel an antisemitic fire, and his actions should garner the consequences of his resignation. Our team at the American Jewish Congress called out Amnesty for their report. The document, which also threatens peace and stability in the Middle East, is just another example of obstacles and threats faced by the Jewish and Pro-Israel communities every day. To further contradict the disillusioned realities that the Amnesty report and O’Brien’s comments paint, Israel provides significant aid to parties around the world, including those that routinely threaten its very existence. In addition, these entities are joined by countless others that reap the benefit of Israel’s humanitarian and global aid efforts. To better understand, the Israeli MFA said it best: “Even after years of provocation, rocket attacks, and bombings, Israel defies terror organizations and works to uphold the highest standards of assistance and support to civilians everywhere, whether in Asia, Africa, Europe, Iraq, or the West Bank and Gaza.“
On March 14th, all 25 Jewish Members of the House Democratic Conference stood in the act of unanimity to condemn his vile words. The American Jewish Congress stands with these Members of Congress and urges all officials of the legislature, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others, to unite behind their colleagues and call for an end to this dangerous behavior. There is no place for it in our country, just as there should be no safe harbor for these words around the world.
Following O’Brien’s remarks, Jewish Insider (JI) published a story highlighting what he said. When faced with the dried ink results of his foolish display, he attempted to walk his words back. O’Brien faulted JI for its reporting and claimed to have been attributed to quotes he did not say. JI then posted audio of his remarks to clear the air and ensure that individuals receive the truth – which may be hard for O’Brien to handle. You can find that article here.
Amnesty International’s core values include impartiality, independence, democracy, and mutual respect. Therefore, we urge Amnesty’s leadership to call O’Brien’s display what it is: an abuse of power with potentially dangerous consequences for the groups and communities he falsely discredits.
From BDS on college campuses to violent attacks on Jewish groups and even Antisemitism in the halls of Congress, the Jewish community faces various threats at every turn. To stop this behavior, we need support like yours to echo the Jewish voice of tomorrow and ensure that actors like O’Brien stop using their influence to spread antisemitism worldwide.
Sign below our petition calling for Paul O’Brien’s dismissal as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.