June 6, 2005

The Moral Authority of A. I.

Anne Bayefsky says the statement by Amnesty International's Irene Khan that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is "the gulag of our times", is...

only the latest in a multi-year slide by the organization away from universal human-rights standards toward a politicized and anti-American agenda.

In fact, Bayefsky tells you about all you need to know in this excerpt from her NRO piece:

The change became abundantly clear at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism that took place in August and early September 2001. The final declaration of the forum of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) said Zionism, or the self-determination of the Jewish people, equals racism and went downhill from there. On the final day prior to the adoption of this declaration, international NGOs, including Amnesty, deliberated about their position as one caucus. As a representative of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists I was about to enter our meeting place along with the president of Amnesty, Irene Khan, when the chief representative of Human Rights Watch, Reed Brody, turned to me in the presence of the others and told me I was not welcome and had to go. Said Brody, to the objection of no one (although I had worked professionally with many of them for years), I represented Jews and therefore could not be trusted to be objective.

At Durban, Amnesty led the international NGO assault on universal standards. According to Khan, what mattered were “the voices of the victims.” In her words, “The victims of racism and related intolerance have described their own realities of racism and related intolerance as they experience it…This Declaration and Programme of Action is an inclusive text which enables our various perspectives to be presented at the World Conference.”

However, despite the rhetoric of “inclusiveness,” the Amnesty International chief sat on her hands when a motion to delete the voices of Jewish victims of racism was put to the vote and adopted. Every Jewish NGO from around the world walked out. Amnesty and company stayed.

Read it all, and while you're at it, read Bayefsky's 2004 Commentary article, "The U.N. and the Jews", to get a sense of how pervasive and systemic is the anti-Semitism at the United Nations.

Posted by dan at June 6, 2005 9:56 PM