Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations
31 January '11
I've been wondering for months if Amnesty International would ever repent for the way it blasted Israel when our police arrested Ameer Makhuol last year. (Here, here, here and here). I even e-mailed them a couple of times, and tweeted. There was of course never any response, nor was one ever expected.
Yesterday, following Makhoul's conviction, Amnesty International finally revisited the story:
"Ameer Makhoul's jailing is a very disturbing development and we will be studying the details of the sentencing as soon as we can," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director.
"Ameer Makhoul is well known for his human rights activism on behalf of Palestinians in Israel and those living under Israeli occupation. We fear that this may be the underlying reason for his imprisonment."
Translated into English: we haven't read the court's decision, but we know it's wrong, and we know it was handed down because Makhoul is a human rights activist who stands up for Palestinians.
Since the court's decision is in Hebrew, there's no reason to expect anyone at AI will ever read it.
Many years ago, when I was a wee lad at university, I was profoundly and lastingly impressed by the writings of Carl Popper. One of the things I learned from him was about how rational inquiry always needs to ask itself not only what might constitute proof, but what would constitute disproof. In other words, what set of facts might force the inquirer to admit that his thesis is wrong, or at least needs to be modified. If the AI folks and I were still sophomoric students bandying around ideas for the intellectual stimulation, I'd ask them what set of hypothetical facts could possible dampen their conviction that Israel is evil, and is the kind of place that sends innocent men to long jail terms out of mere spite.
Since we're not, I'll postulate that they're driven, among other motivations, by simple old hatred of the Jews, and invite them to submit facts that would disprove this. In any case, they're clearly not in the business of carefully reporting reality. And they are in the business of discrediting the noble idea of human rights.
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