Jewish Members Issue Statement Responding to Offensive Comments by Amnesty International USA's Executive Director
Washington, March 14, 2022
Washington, D.C. - Today, in an act of unanimity, all 25 Jewish Democratic Members of Congress issued the following statement in response to reported comments made by Amnesty International USA’s executive director. The statement was issued jointly by Reps. Auchincloss, Bonamici, Cicilline, Cohen, Deutch, Frankel, Gottheimer, Jacobs, Levin (CA), Levin (MI), Lowenthal, Luria, Manning, Nadler, Phillips, Raskin, Schakowsky, Schiff, Schneider, Schrier, Sherman, Slotkin, Wasserman Schultz, Wild, and Yarmuth.
"On the heels of a recent Amnesty International report that a number of Members condemned as delegitimizing of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and undermining of the prospects for a two-state solution, Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Paul O’Brien has now taken a new, very disturbing step: purporting to speak for the entire Jewish community on Israel. He claimed his “gut” tells him “what Jewish people in this country want” is that Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state.”
"As Jewish Members of the House of Representatives, we represent diverse views on a number of issues relating to Israel. However, we are in full agreement that Mr. O’Brien’s patronizing attempt to speak on behalf of the American Jewish community is alarming and deeply offensive. He has added his name to the list of those who, across centuries, have tried to deny and usurp the Jewish people’s independent agency. We stand united in condemning this and any antisemitic attempt to deny the Jewish people control of their own destiny."