Last week, Amnesty International’s U.S. director, Paul O’Brien, stated that Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state,” and that Amnesty is “opposed to the idea . . . that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people.” This week, congressional Jewish Democratic condemned these comments. Ron Kampeas reports:
All 25 Jewish Democrats in the House, a fractious caucus that rarely unanimously agrees on issues of Jewish interest, signed onto a statement slamming recent comments by Amnesty International’s U.S. director, who said he believes polls showing overwhelming U.S. Jewish support for Israel are inaccurate.
“As Jewish Members of the House of Representatives, we represent diverse views on a number of issues relating to Israel. However, we are in full agreement that Mr. [Paul] O’Brien’s patronizing attempt to speak on behalf of the American Jewish community is alarming and deeply offensive,” the statement released on Monday reads.
Last week, . . . O’Brien defended Amnesty’s recent report designating Israel as an “apartheid” state. Someone at the event, at the Women’s National Democratic Club in Washington DC, asked him about a 2020 Ruderman Family Foundation poll that showed that eight in ten American Jews identify as “pro-Israel.” The poll is commensurate with findings of multiple polls over the years.
“I believe my gut tells me that what Jewish people in this country want is to know that there’s a sanctuary that is a safe and sustainable place that the Jews, the Jewish people can call home,” he said, a status short of a Jewish state, which O’Brien had said in the same address Amnesty rejected.