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Off and running! I am now a candidate for the Amnesty International UK Section Board February 24, 2010

Posted by amnestyhaslostitsway in Eric Lee, Israel/Palestine.

I have just learned today that I am one of ten candidates for four seats on the Amnesty International UK Section Board.

As part of the process of getting nominated, I was required to submit some details about my experience, knowledge and so on — and an election manifesto. As I was severely limited in the number of words I had, the election manifesto is only 100 words.

The text — which will be sent out to the more than 250,000 Amnesty members in the UK in the next two weeks — is, I think, explosive stuff:

“I believe that Amnesty has lost its way when it comes to Israel and Palestine. Instead of being seen as an unbiased source, Amnesty is increasingly viewed by many as being anti-Israel. Amnesty’s uncritical support for the controversial Goldstone report, the excessive coverage of Israel in its magazine (far more than coverage of, for example, Iran), the partnerships with anti-Israel NGOs like War on Want which label Israel as an “apartheid” society, all contribute to this perception. And just as Amnesty demands that governments tolerate dissent, it too must be open to criticism and not smug or defensive.”

If you are an Amnesty member I encourage you to vote for me.

If you know other Amnesty members or your organisation may have Amnesty members in its ranks, please encourage them to vote.

If you want to help raise the profile of my campaign — for example, by placing an ad in the Guardian, please email me at ericlee@labourstart.org

I want to thank all those who nominated me and encouraged me. We only have a couple of weeks to make our case — let’s get to work today!



1. mostly harmless - February 25, 2010

So if I elect you, Mr Hoffman will have be whispering sweet nothings in your ear? No thanks

2. jim - February 27, 2010

Did you not serve in the IDF.

Did you not lose your own way?

I as a memeber will be writing to AI asking the merit of allowing someon to stand who served in the IDF which is responsible for war crimes.

here is your own blog:


The blog of Eric Lee – web design and internet consulting for the trade union movement.

Why I serve[d]
Ten years ago, I wrote an article for my web-based weekly newsletter BibiWATCH on the subject of my service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). My views have not changed in those years, and I reprint the article below.

WHY I SERVE – by Eric Lee

By the time you read these words, I will be in uniform. About two months ago, I received the notice in the mail. Report to a central bus station in one of Israel’s southern cities at 9:00 in the morning on Monday, 14 October. Go home on Wednesday, 6 November. The notice came from the Israel Defense Forces, in which I have served as a reservist since 1985. Some of you reading this do not live in Israel, so I guess I should explain.
Israel has always had a people’s army. Not only is the regular army based on conscription, but the vast bulk of the Israeli forces consist of reservists who are also obligated by law to serve until a certain age. Even if you come to live here when you are already an adult, well past the age of 18 when boys and girls here get drafted — even then, you still have to serve in the reserves.

I was drafted in June 1985 and have served ever since in a combat unit. Since the outbreak of the Intifada in December 1987, my unit (and I with it) has been called to serve every year, always in the occupied territories. I have served in and around Kalkilya, Tubas, Bethlehem, Beth-el, Tekoa, Jenin, Dahariya and Gaza. I mention this because I want to address two audiences who I know are among the readers of this newsletter.

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