August 22, 2009

Partisan Leonard Cohen's "so long" to Amnesty

Amnesty International has withdrawn its support for Leonard Cohen's concert in Tel Aviv. Their reasoning, as Deborah Fink points out on the Just Peace UK list, is just a little bit "mealy mouthed" but this is a victory for BDS in spite of an Amnesty spokesman speaking, ridiculously, of Cohen's "well intentioned" efforts.

Here's the Jewish Chronicle:
Amnesty International says it has withdrawn its support from a concert in Israel because it did not receive sufficiently widespread support from Israelis and Palestinians.

Organisers of the Leonard Cohen concert, which sold out in a day and is due to take place in Tel Aviv next month, approached the US branch of the human rights charity to set up a fund which could distribute the profits of the concert to Israeli and Palestinian charities.

But Curt Goering, deputy director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), said this week that it was forced to “cease involvement” after not enough support was shown.

He said: “Representatives of Leonard Cohen approached AIUSA for advice on setting up a fund, using the proceeds of the Tel Aviv concert to benefit Israeli and Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations working for reconciliation, tolerance and peace.

“AIUSA was pleased to offer what help it could, and from the beginning, made clear that its involvement in providing advice was premised on the requirement that there be widespread participation of Israeli and Palestinian groups. That widespread support appears not to have materialised at this point, and is why AIUSA has ceased its involvement.

“We regret this outcome, but still think Leonard Cohen’s efforts are well-intentioned and that the fund is a good initiative.”

I don't know if there's a timeline available on all this but when I first heard that Cohen was planning to entertain in Israel that was all I heard. All this nonsense about Cohen performing for "reconciliation, tolerance and peace" at the same time as ignoring representatives of most of Palestinian civil society together with international solidarity groups wasn't grafted on to the affair until the call for boycott came in.

And now Cohen is on his own until he and his manager can cobble together some face saving sham of a zionist "peace" group. I'm sure the Peres Centre for "Peace" is still right behind him.

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