London – Amnesty International UK has sparked outrage on social media after they shared Valentine’s Day posts targeting Israel, claiming the Jewish state is waging a “war on love”.
On both Facebook and Twitter, the human rights organisation shared similar versions of the same post that referenced alleged Israeli “apartheid” that allegedly prevents Palestinian from seeing loved ones.
These posts come after the organisation failed to mention or condemn the Palestinian terror attack last Friday in which two brothers age six and eight were killed in a car-ramming attack. They did tweet on that day, however, calling on the government and the opposition to condemn alleged Israeli apartheid.
In a post on its Facebook page, Amnesty wrote: “Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, but for Palestinians, discriminatory laws prevent them from seeing loved ones and sharing their love freely.
“The Israeli authorities’ war on love is yet another pillar of its system of apartheid. Together, we must act to dismantle this racist system. One pillar at a time.”
The post has been greeted with outrage due its focus on Israel, and also the failure to mention that LGBT+ people cannot live freely in Palestinian territories, with many gay Palestinians fleeing to Israel to avoid persecution.
On Facebook, one commenter wrote: “LGBTQ are persecuted and killed in Gaza and the West Bank- why doesn’t Amnesty speak out against that?”
Simon Myerson KC, chair of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, tweeted: “Happy Valentine’s Day! When you can’t bring yourself to call out a ban on same sex relationships in Arab countries or on selling land to a Jew in Palestine, but you tweet this, it’s discrimination.
“For Amnesty UK, Jews just don’t count,” he added.
Many commenters pointed to the case of 25-year-old Ahmad Abu Marhia; a Palestinian man beheaded in the West Bank reportedly for being gay. He had sought refuge in Israel and was applying for asylum in Canada before he was brutally murdered in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“That’s weird. None of Amnesty UK’s valentine’s day tweets about states that ban same sex relationships are visible to me,” one quipped.
Gabriel Milland, partner at Portland Communication and former Downing Street special advisor, tweeted a special Valentines Day poem: “Roses are red, The Israeli flag is blue-ish. Amnesty UK, Likes to target the only state which is Jewish.”
Israeli journalist Lidar Gravé-Lazi tweeted: “Amnesty UK has entirely lost its moral compass. On [Valentines] day it posts about Israel. Not about Iran that is executing young women or the Taliban that has completely oppressed women and the list goes on. In fact if you scroll down nearly all their posts are only about Israel. Shameful.”
When approached for comment with the points raised, an Amnesty International UK spokesperson said: “The Valentine’s Day message is a small part of our campaign against Israel’s cruel and racist system of apartheid – which amounts to a crime against humanity – and we reiterate our call on Israel to face up to its obligations under international law and finally begin dismantling its institutionalised apartheid against the Palestinian people.”