A board member of the human rights group Amnesty International is under fire for calling Israel worse than the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon across the border from Israel.
Prominent Finnish physicist and Amnesty International board member Syksy Räsänen compared Israel to Hezbollah after Germany’s decision to ban the group in the country, as many other nations have already done.
“Hezbollah is banned because it ‘calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist,’” Räsänen wrote on Twitter. “Replace Israel [with] Palestine, and this describes most Israeli parties.”
“Admittedly, there is the difference that most Israeli parties have been implementing the elimination of Palestine, not just [calling] for it. Yet [Likud], Yesh Atid, Shas, [Labor] etc are valued partners for Germany and the EU instead of being labeled terrorists.”
Räsänen was outed by Hillel Neuer, head of the NGO UN Watch, who tweeted: “Hi @amnesty, in the rant below your board member in Finland is openly siding with Hezbollah, which has played a key role in murdering 500,000 Syrians. Just FYI.”
He added that he was “concerned that there is a disturbing pattern of your support for terrorists, misogynists, anti-Semites and homophobes.”
Räsänen defended himself.
“The comments (many of them vulgar) on this post are an example of targeted insult campaigns from supporters of Israeli apartheid. This is, of course, not unique to the pro-apartheid crowd: supporters of various kinds of politics do this on Twitter,” he said. “But when it comes to Israeli apartheid, the spectrum continues with denial of premises for events, getting people fired from their jobs, even physical attacks. Still, this is minor compared to what Palestinian human rights defenders face: they have faced a systematic campaign of imprisonment, torture, (not just character) assassination for decades.”
Of course, the primary opponents of Palestinian human rights activists are not Jewish, but Mulsim and members of Hamas, who has no problem jailing or even killing any Palestinian who resists them. But Räsänen would never rall against real murderers, instead he challenges democratic Israel—a country with over 1,000,000 Arab citizens with freedom of speech and religion.
If history is any indication, Amnesty International will not take action against Räsänen. This is not the first time a member of the allegedly unbiased organization has attacked Israel. In 2010, Amnesty’s Finland branch director Frank Johansson referred to Israel as a “scum state.” He remains in his position to this day.