Amnesty International was once widely respected for its work campaigning for prisoners of conscience. Its transformation into a caricature of an agenda-driven Israel-obsessed NGO is thus something of a tragedy. Across the globe, prisoners of conscience remain locked away for no reason other than the threat their thoughts pose to despotic regimes. There is still a vital need for the kind of work undertaken by the old Amnesty. The real tragedy, of course, is not Amnesty’s descent into hard core anti-Israel campaigning; it is the fact that life is so cheap in the Middle East. In regimes across the region, human beings are tortured, imprisoned and killed at the whim of governments and religious extremists. Genuine democracy and the rule of law is almost non-existent in the Middle East. Almost — because there is one state in which it is the very basis of existence. And yet it is that state, Israel, which is the focus of Amnesty’s tawdry report. Cobbled together from unverified and contradictory sources, Trigger Happy — even the name gives away Amnesty’s true agenda — discredits only the organisation which has published it. [Jewish Chronicle editorial, February 26, 2014]
|Nabi Saleh in the NYT: "Great" setting for|
Amnesty's defence of human rights. For a more factual
background, see what we wrote
|One of the Tamimis ignored in Amnesty's paean. This Tamimi|
is now a free citizen of Jordan from where she can afford
the luxury of being 'modest' about 'her' massacre
Tamimi and her weapon, the bomber, both dressed in Western garb and chatting in English to appear as tourists, strolled through the city center. At the entrance to Sbarro, she briefed him on where and when to detonate, instructing that he wait 15 minutes to allow her a safe getaway. Fifteen men, women and children were murdered that afternoon - our teenage daughter Malki among them. Filmed in an Israeli prison, this Tamimi smiled broadly when an interviewer informed her that 8 children were murdered, and not merely the 3 she had known about. Since her release in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, Tamimi has repeatedly and publicly boasted of her deed, adding: "I have no regrets. I would do it again." (We fought a campaign to have her name removed from the go-free list. But we failed.)
Tamimi has always lived in Amman, other than two years in Nabi Saleh while attending university and her prison years. Since her release, she has married another Tamimi, also a convicted murderer freed in the Shalit deal. He too is a home-town hero in Nabi Saleh. The host of her own weekly show on Hamas TV, the female Tamimi travels freely throughout the Arab world to address her many fans, accepting accolades and trophies while urging others to follow in her footsteps.
- Its publication coincides with the anti-semitic BDS movement’s annual week of anti-Israel activities, promoting boycotts and sanctions via systematic demonization of Israel.
- "Trigger Happy" repeats Amnesty’s previous calls for political warfare against Israel and in particular, an arms embargo.
- Its accusations are "reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology”. They also demonstrate once again Amnesty's disproportionate and ideological obsession with Israel”.
- “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony’”.
- Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty admitted as much just two weeks ago. In a February 10, 2014 interview with Al Jazeera, Shetty acknowledged that “we are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.”
- There's some history to this, too. In 2009, Amnesty played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, as well as in a number of other allegations targeting Israel.
- No definitions or comparative data are provided to support Amnesty’s politicized allegations that Israeli forces are “trigger happy” and “reckless.” In fact, a review of police conduct around the world reveals that Israeli police and military conduct is far more restrained, considering the constant state of armed conflict and the sheer number of lethal situations that justify the use of deadly force, including violent riots and terror attacks.
- As NGO Monitor has previously shown, Amnesty’s so-called research team on Israel comprises two individuals with backgrounds in anti-Israel political activism, not military and legal expertise.
Amnesty International should be ashamed of its role in exploiting the moral foundations of universal human rights to wage political warfare against Israel.