Amnesty teams with radicals to blast Israel and India


Abha Shankar

A local chapter of the global human rights group Amnesty International is teaming with radical anti-Israel groups Sunday in Dallas for a discussion equating the “colonial and recent history” of Palestine and Kashmir that “have been embroiled in conflict and military occupation.”

This is yet another example of Amnesty’s anti-Israel bias. The human rights group describes Israel as an “apartheid state” and unfairly excoriates the Jewish state on its Palestine policy. It is also a staunch advocate of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to isolate Israel economically and politically.

BDS is considered anti-Semitic because it singles out the world’s only Jewish state and ignores countries with far worse human rights records. Many BDS leaders openly express a desire to see Israel eliminated.

Amnesty’s Southern Methodist University chapter’s co-sponsors in Dallas are leading nationwide organizers of the BDS movement.

Those include the virulently anti-Israel American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a radical student organization that has chapters on several campuses across the United States.

The program’s announcement intersects the Islamist agenda in Palestine and Kashmir by describing them “[a]s two of the most militarized zones in the world, both states have long suffered human rights violations including murder and imprisonment of children.” Islamists are increasingly using “intersectional” politics to build broader-based coalitions of supporting groups to give greater impetus to their cause.

Hatem Bazian, a University of California, Berkeley lecturer who founded the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, is a listed speaker. Bazian has been accused of anti-Semitism and has made a career of demonizing critics of Islamism as Islamophobes.

Bazian founded SJP in 1993. It routinely spews anti-Semitic sentiments and hatred for Israel. In 2017, its Northwestern University chapter hosted convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh, who spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that killed two university students.

Bazian is also founder and national chair of AMP, one of the principal advocates of the BDS movement against the Jewish state. AMP routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance,” often a euphemism for terrorist attacks in Israel.

2017 lawsuit alleges that AMP and several of its activists are “alter egos and/or successors” of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society (AMS), which were found liable for an American teen’s 1996 death in a Hamas terrorist attack. In 2015, the Investigative Project on Terrorism first identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked with IAP and AMS to advance Hamas’ agenda politically and financially in the United States.

Bazian will be joined by Mujeeb Kazi, president of the Kashmir Solidarity Council USA, that pushes unsubstantiated reports of “massive human rights violations and suffering of the people of Kashmir,” and who called Kashmir the “most dangerous place on earth,” where “a nuclear war between India and Pakistan could destroy the planet.” But the organization, like other American Islamists, chooses to stay silent on the use of terrorism as a proxy tool by Pakistan that has claimed thousands of lives since the 1989 start of an Islamist insurrection in the Kashmir.

Kazi peddles anti-India propaganda. A Nov. 18 Facebook post reads: “An Inside Look at Kashmir [.] Kashmir has been largely cut off from the outside world for months and the internet remains cut off. Residents share stories of state violence and terror.” Another post reads: No one can imagine what people of [K]ashmir are going through under sever [sic] cold weather conditions. People are freezing to death …”

At an Oct. 27 rally protesting an earlier Indian action Kazi said, “They have been suffering for the last 72 years under the oppression of the brutal and barbaric forces of India.”

In fact, recent Indian media reports claim restrictions have been lifted in most of Jammu and Kashmir but remain in place in the more disturbed areas where terrorist attacks are more likely.

The Himalayan Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir has been a source of tension between India and Pakistan since the two countries gained independence from British rule in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim the state in its entirety and have fought multiple wars over it.

Tensions between India and Pakistan re-ignited Aug. 5 after India’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) voided a “temporary” constitutional provision that gave Jammu and Kashmir special autonomous powers to make its own laws outside of defense, foreign affairs, finance, and communications. The action divided the state into two federally-administered territories that will now be governed by New Delhi.

The Indian government justified the action by saying the old provision fanned separatism and cross-border terrorism, and encouraged corruption and family rule in the state. It also precluded the benefits of robust social and economic development experienced in the rest of the country from reaching the state.

Since revoking the constitutional provisions, Indian intelligence has uncovered multiple Pakistani attempts to send terrorists across the border to attack security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last weekend, AMP hosted a conference where U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., engaged in intersectional politics alleging parallels between problems facing Palestinians to the oppression of African-Americans in the United States.

“Every time I see … the police going after, killing innocent people, innocent, treating African American brothers and sisters like they’re disposable, I think of Filastine and what happens to our brothers and sisters in the occupation,” Tlaib said. “… This othering, this dehumanization, is painful. But if we don’t speak up for each other, we give each other credibility, we grow this movement into something stronger. So when you see these things understand how interconnected it is. Because when I’m fighting for clean water in the city of Detroit and all throughout Wayne County that I ever represent, I’m fighting for clean water in Gaza, access to water there. So all of it is so interconnected.”

Tlaib introduced a resolution last month “condemning the human rights violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir and supporting Kashmiri self-determination.”

The AMP conference also hosted a panel discussion on “The Brutality of Occupation Worldwide: Kashmir, Rohingya, Uighur and Palestine” that featured Hafsa Kanjwal, an anti-India Kashmiri activist who equated India’s “occupation” of Kashmir with “Israel’s settler-colonial project in Palestine.”

“And then finally on Aug. 5th India began its last, final phase of the occupation which was basically putting into motion a settler colonial project very similar to Israel’s settler-colonial project in Palestine,” Kanjwal said.

Sunday’s event is another example of the growing use of “intersectional” politics – an alliance of aggrieved interest groups – among AMP and like-minded groups to garner greater support to advance their Islamist agendas.


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