from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Amnesty International and Hamas

November 21, 2012

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The current conflict between Hamas (and other terrorist groups) and Israel has brought out the worst  in Amnesty International. Amnesty has taken a position that can only be called anti-Israel, treating the terrorists and Israel with an "evenhandedness" that bespeaks deep biases.

The story is well told at the web site of NGO Monitor, an NGO set up precisely to catch self-proclaimedly neutral human rights organizations doing just what Amnesty is doing: taking sides, and in this case taking sides with terrorists. As NGO Monitor summarizes,

  • During the weeks of escalation in rocket attacks prior to the Israeli response, Amnesty International failed to issue a single statement condemning the firing of scores of rockets by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups at Israeli civilians in southern Israel, demonstrating Amnesty’s lack of regard for Israeli human rights.
  • Amnesty has repeatedly blamed Israel alone for “re-igniting the conflict.”

Amnesty asks for two remarkable things in its November 19th statement. One is for the International Criminal Court to take up the Goldstone Report and seek war crimes prosecutions based on it. No notice whatsoever is taken by Amnesty of Goldstone’s own "reconsideration" (largely a recantation) of his own report, in which he notes that

We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

The second remarkable Amnesty demand is that

“The UN Security Council should meet urgently to impose an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.”

There is Israel, under attack by terrorists launching hundreds and hundreds of missiles and rockets into its territory--not just this week but all year, year after year; threatened by an Iranian regime that states its wish to wipe the Jewish state off the map; in a legal state of war with Syria to its north...Well, one could go on. And Amnesty seeks an arms embargo that would prevent Israel from seeking the means to defend itself. All that in the name of "human rights. "

It gets even worse, as NGO Monitor reports:

One example of this lack of professionalism is Kristyan Benedict, a staff blogger at Amnesty-UK and Middle East campaign manager. He has used his Twitter account for anti-Israel rants and antisemitic jokes, including a November 19 tweet, “Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon & Luciana Berger walk into a bar....each orders a round of B52s (inspired by @KarlreMarks Bar quips) #Gaza.” The three people he appears to characterize as warmongers are British Members of Parliament, all of whom are Jewish.

Amnesty is, by such hostility toward and one-sided treatment of Israel, and by its employment of individuals who show such hostility not only to Israel but to Jews more generally, destroying its own reputation. Is there no one on the Amnesty International board to complain, and to demand that objectivity and fairness be restored?

More on:

Middle East and North Africa

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