The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has demonstrated their outrage against Amnesty International UK for having withdrawn their participation in an upcoming panel regarding Israel and the UN Human Rights Council.

West Bank settlements

West Bank settlements Photo credit: Noam Moshkovitz/Flash 90

Amnesty International UK was set to host a panel with speakers discussing Israel and the UN Human Rights Council although withdrew its participation on Friday over support from speakers over the settlements. Sources indicate that Amnesty was planning on cancelling for several months.

The outrage has soared over the withdrawal. Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has stated this is “disgraceful that a Jewish charity is barred from the offices of Amnesty International UK”.

Goldstein continued, “For a long time, our community has been deeply disappointed by Amnesty International UK’s approach to Israel and the Jewish community, yet we had sought positive engagement,” Goldstein remarked. “By withdrawing their offer to host an event on the role of the UN Human Rights Council, it is clear that Amnesty International UK’s claim ‘to protect Freedom of Expression,’ is only on their terms,” said Goldstein.

Amnesty International claimed in its defense, that they “are currently campaigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements. We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements.”

The scheduled speakers for the panel include Fred Carver of the UN Association, Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, and is to be chaired by Daniel Friedman QC- a human rights specialist and board member of Yachad.