The Israeli Embassy in London has filed a complaint with Amnesty International this week over Twitter messages issued by Amnesty International UK Campaigns Manager Kristyan Benedict.
Among the offending tweets were accusations that “settlers” were behind “the burning of a Palestinian baby,” and that the perpetrators of the arson in Duma had been backed and even encouraged by the Israeli government.
“Palestinian baby burned to death in settler attack," Benedict tweeted on July 31. “They see their government getting away with murder every day.”
In another message from August 1, Benedict wrote that “The UNSG effectively says Israel's government facilitated the murder of Ali Dawabsha.”
He has also retweeted messages from Hamas stating that the Duma arson is “proof of Israeli war crimes.” Other messages stated that the Duma arson “allows Israel to justify its collective punishment of Palestinians.”
Eitan Na’eh, a diplomat at the Embassy, sent a letter to Amnesty UK director, Kate Allen, expressing “dismay” over the messages.
“Benedict exploited the horrible murder of Ali Dawabsha in order to incite against Israel, saying ‘the Israeli government gets away with murder every day’ and falsely attributing a statement to the UN Secretary-General that the Israeli government ‘facilitated’ the murder,” he wrote.
"It reflects extremely unprofessional conduct, which has direct bearing on Amnesty’s credibility as an international human rights organization,” Na’eh added. “Even more worryingly, they reflect a willingness to incite against Israel in the most hateful manner imaginable, while promoting and affirming the twitter account of a recognized terror group.”
This is not the first time Benedict has been accused of using his position in Amnesty – which is supposed to be a non-partisan NGO – as a “bully pulpit” to push his anti-Israel views. Last year, Benedict tweeted that Israel's behavior in Gaza was similar to ISIS.
Benedict has even been accused of anti-Semitism in the past.
Following the IDF's 2012 military operation in Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense, he posted a tweet targeting three Jewish MPs: "Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon and Luciana Berger walk into a bar…each orders a round of B52s … #Gaza" – a reference to the American bomber and alcoholic drink of the same name.
He also regularly hosted talks and events by numerous radical anti-Israel campaigners.