Denunciation and Puzzlement at Amnesty International's appointment of Michael Abraham Levy
17 December 2013, GNRD Press Release – The Global Network for Rights and Development and the undersigned organisations express their denunciation and profound puzzlement at Amnesty International's recent decision of appointing Michael Abraham Levy, as a member of its Secretary General's Global Council, and urge for reconsideration of that decision.
While we recognise the important role of Amnesty International on the international human rights arena, and strongly support its independence. Nevertheless, we draw attention to the need to circumvent repetition of historical errors the organisation has committed in the past that still haunt its reputation, for example the refusal to consider the international freedom-fighter Nelson Mandela as a prisoner of conscience, and opting instead to designate him a terrorist.
Amnesty International now manifests yet another harsh example of political interference onto its professional track record, by appointing a controversial personality, whose assumption of a leadership position raises many questions about the future trends of the organisation, and its direct susceptibility to extremist views, especially at decision-making level.
The undersigned organisations to this press release stress that Mr. Levy, born in 1944, is one of the major supporters of settlement and extremist institutions in Israel, he stands behind vast donations to support and promote the concept of occupation. Moreover, that his 9-year tenure as adviser to the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, saw the implementation of various policies against human rights, be it on the level of support for Israeli occupation, or participation of that government in aggression against Iraq and in crimes against humanity. Many people around the world realise the fanaticism and extremism of advisory opinions promulgated by Mr. Levy during that period, and their threat of world security and peace, as he was considered among the key people to launch the trend of forsaking basic rights for the higher interests of state.
The Global Network for Rights and Development and the undersigned organisations believe that a person with such record shall wreck the credibility of Amnesty International, and condemn its tendencies and policies into questioning; a development that could lead human rights organisations around the world to boycott Amnesty International.
The undersigning organisations also emphasize their condemnation of Amnesty International's position of appointing Levy as one of the key policymakers at an international human rights organisation.
Amnesty International is required to provide immediate explanations to many thousands of members around the world on the professional standards applied to the election and recruitment of a person classified by many a human rights platform as hostile to human rights.
Considering the attainment of funding as a mere standard for appointment to leading positions in international organisations could landmark the beginning of a moral collapse that defies the founding principles of any human rights organisation.
Therefore, as partners in making the future of humanity, we claim the right to call upon Amnesty International to immediately rescind its decision, which we deem as lacking the prudence essential for an organisation of such international prominence.
Principles of tolerance and forgiveness grant each person the right for proactive participation in human rights tasks if he/she adopts the underlying values; an attitude, which Mr. Levy has not proven neither by word nor deed.