Monday, 9 January 2012

Amnesty International, Withdraw Your Endorsement of Arch Enemy


On the 24th of January, the Swedish Metal band, Arch Enemy, is scheduled to perform in Israel. This performance is part of an international tour, endorsed by Amnesty International as part of their “End Repression-Protect Freedom of Expression” campaign. After many private and public correspondences with the band and petitions to Amnesty International, we’ve come to see that public pressure must be applied on the organization. 
There are several ways you can help!
1. Write a letter to Amnesty International. You can use the suggestion letter below. Letters are to be emailed to:,,,,,,,,
2. Let everybody know you’re taking action and invite them to join you on Facebook and Twitter. You can use these suggestion posts:

Facebook: I’m writing to Amnesty International, to demand they pull their endorsement from the Arch Enemy concert in apartheid Israel!
(you can tag: @Amnesty International @Amnesty International USA @Amnesty International Sverige @Amnesty International Danmark @Amnesty @International Nederland @Íslandsdeild Amnesty International @Amnesty)
Twitter: @AmnestyOnline @Art4Amnesty don’t endorse Arch Enemy’s concert in apartheid Israel!
(Other tagging options: @Amnesty_IN @Amnesty_Israel @NewsFromAmnesty @amnestypress @AIUKMEG @SalilShetty @jpmlynch @robwinder @neilsai @demanddignity @Amnesty_Int_Dbn)
Dear Amnesty International,
I hold Amnesty International’s worldwide work for human rights and international law in high esteem. For this reason, I was very troubled to learn that Amnesty International has agreed to endorse Arch Enemy’s world wide tour, as part of its “End Repression-Protect Freedom of Expression” campaign, which includes a performance in Israel.  It is doubly troubling, as Amnesty International has been faced with this choice before. I applauded you then, when you chose to heed the call of your members and the international community in general, to disassociate yourself from Leonard Cohen’s tour, because of his performance in Israel. And it is for that reason exactly that I can’t understand why you would endorse a similar tour and choose to ignore all public or private petitions for you not to do so. 
I call on you to be true to Amnesty International’s values, distance yourself from efforts to normalize Israel’s occupation and apartheid, and immediately withdraw support for Arch Enemy’s ill-conceived concert in Israel.
By supporting Arch Enemy’s concert, Amnesty International will be subverting the worldwide movement to boycott Israel, a non-violent, effective effort by Palestinian and international civil society to end Israel’s violations of international law and human rights principles. By this endorsement, Amnesty International consciously goes beyond “staying neutral”,  aiding and abetting Israel in keeping a semblance of a democratic state, in which expressing one’s opinion is allowed, when in fact Amnesty International itself has documented and expressed its concern, many times over, about the violation of the basic rights of freedom of expression and assembly, of both the Palestinian population under Israel’s military regime in the occupied territories, and the citizens of Israel who express their disapproval of the state’s policies.
I quote the  letter-writing campaign that was addressed to you, regarding Leonard Cohen, and stress that this is in fact the same situation:
Ninety-three artists, writers and other cultural workers have signed onto the Palestinian cultural boycott call. Many dignitaries signed the “No Reason to Celebrate” pledge and refused to participate in any artistic or literary event during Israel’s year-long 60th anniversary celebrations.
In his protest resignation from Amnesty International over this issue, Irish author and composer Raymond Deane wrote:
“By assisting Cohen in his ruse to bypass this boycott, Amnesty International is in fact taking a political stance, in violation of the premise of political neutrality with which it so regularly justifies its failure to side unambiguously with the oppressed. Amnesty is telling us: resistance is futile, the voice of the oppressed is irrelevant, international humanitarian law is a luxury.”
Thank you for your attention to this vital human rights issue. I look forward to learning of Amnesty International’s withdrawal of its endorsement of the Arch Enemy concert in Israel.

[Your Name]

*Click to read BOYCOTT!'s letter to Amnesty.

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