Outrageous Amnesty report on Israel removed from reality

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Embassy of Israel 26/02/2014

The Amnesty report to be published tomorrow (Thursday) reads like a public relations stunt rather than a serious report by a human rights organization. The report brings together carefully selected, unverifiable and often contradictory accounts from clearly politically-motivated individuals, which it then reports as unquestioned facts.

According to the skewed logic of the report, stone throwing, often using slings, as well as the use of petrol bombs and even live fire against IDF soldiers by Palestinians “poses little or no threat” to their lives. Therefore, any use of force by the IDF against these actions is considered “wilful killing”, or even a war crime. Even when evidence clearly points to soldiers being wounded in clashes involving live fire, their use of force is outrageously criticized by Amnesty as being excessive.

Amnesty is in need of an urgent reality check: In 2013, there were around 5000 events of rock-throwing – of which approximately half were against civilians. In 2011, 44 people were injured by rock-throwing; in 2012 this number rose to 71, and in 2013, it rose again to 132 victims, showing a dramatic increase in this deeply concerning activity. In this same period, scores of Israelis have been victimised by shootings, stabbings, and other forms of terror, none of which Amnesty sees fit to mention in its report.

Despite the practice of certain Palestinian groups, well documented by other monitoring organisations, of deliberately provoking violent clashes, Amnesty insists that all Palestinians involved are “peaceful demonstrators” or “human rights defenders”. The Amnesty report mentions the village of Nabi Saleh extensively, yet neglects to mention terrorists from the village, such as Ahlam Tamimi, who led a suicide bomber to a restaurant where he murdered 16 people. When she was released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, there were huge celebrations in Nabi Saleh.

Amnesty’s obsessive focus on Israel beyond any relation to the large scale atrocities taking place in the region suggests a troubling political agenda. This is supported by the report’s outrageous recommendations, which include an arms embargo on Israel, but no suggestion (of course) that the Palestinian authorities should act against unlawful violence, or against the daily glorification of terrorism and murder in schools and mosques, which continues to poison the minds of a new generation.

This obsessive, outrageous report has nothing to offer in the genuine and important discussion about how law enforcement authorities should deal with the complex challenges of demonstrations containing violent and potentially lethal elements. The only trigger-happy and reckless party in connection with the report is Amnesty itself.