The controversial activist group, Amnesty UK, has reportedly taken no action after its Racial Justice Lead apologised for a historic social media post in which he appeared to describe Jewish people as “shady”.
According to the Jewish News, Ilyas Nagdee was asked by a friend on Facebook for his thoughts on Orthodox Jews in Bury, in Greater Manchester. The friend said that they were “laughin at Jews [sic]” and joked that “the Jew might hit me with a walking stick.” Mr Nagdee replied: “True. There shady people [sic].”
In another comment, apparently in reference to Hasidic garb, Mr Nagdee reportedly wrote: “Hahahahaha bummmmmmmmm hats.”
When alerted to the comments, Amnesty UK said: “We immediately looked into this matter as soon as we were made aware of it. As an anti-racist organisation, we oppose discrimination, racism and hate crime in all their forms, including against Jewish people or people perceived as Jewish. Ilyas has explained the circumstances of these comments made when he was sixteen years old – he has clearly and unreservedly apologised and we now consider the matter closed.”
Mr Nagdee said: “This conversation happened in 2010 when I was sixteen. I was completely wrong to have talked this way and I totally regret doing so. Like many people, I’ve been on a journey since my early years and have long opposed all discrimination, racism and hate crime – including all forms of antisemitism. I want to make clear: I unreservedly apologise for these comments from twelve years ago.”
Earlier this week it was reported that the Charity Commission has opened an investigation of Amnesty International in relation to a recent inflammatory report on Israel. Mr Nagdee, who is a former presentative of the National Union of Students, has claimed that Amnesty is the victim of a “smear campaign” led by the Jewish state. He has also reportedly called for the release of prisoners convicted of terrorism from Israeli jails, and has posted comments on social media appearing to deny the Jewish state’s legitimacy.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Britain’s Jews have enough experience with so-called ‘anti-racists’ not to be shocked to learn that Amnesty quickly closed its investigation against Ilyas Nagdee, who remains the Racial Justice Lead. The Jewish community knows very well where it stands in relation to the web of Amnesty organisations.”
Image credit: Jewish News