• Press Release

Recent Antisemitic Incidents Must be Condemned

May 21, 2021

A young marcher hold signs that reads
Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
Responding to antisemitic incidents reported in the U.S. in recent weeks, including reports of one today in New York City that is now being investigated as a hate crime, Amnesty International USA executive director Paul O’Brien said:

“As a human rights organization committed to fighting discrimination wherever it is committed, we condemn antisemitism in the strongest possible terms. Intimidating worshippers at synagogues, defacing the Star of David, and using images and words that invoke antisemitic tropes is appalling and abusive, and when done in the name of protesting the actions of the Israeli government, belie the perpetrator’s motives and do nothing to advance human rights.

“Antisemitism is hatred. It attacks the very notion of universal human rights, and we must hold accountable — in our personal interactions, in our workplaces, in our communities, and in our activism — those who commit, encourage or acquiesce in such abuse, whenever and wherever it is inflicted.

“We are aware that some are conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies with antisemitism. We want to be crystal clear that Amnesty’s research, campaigns, advocacy and statements pertaining to Israel are focused on the actions of the Israeli government — they are not, and never will be, a condemnation of Judaism or the Jewish people.

“The right to be free from discrimination is a fundamental principle of human rights law, and all governments are obliged to combat discrimination in all its forms. Amnesty International USA supports all those who are targeted for their identity, and we reiterate our commitment to building a world in which every person can enjoy the full range of their human rights, free from hatred and discrimination.”