Ever since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in September 2000, a cluster of international human rights groups have established a standard template in response to Israeli claims about Palestinian violence directed against the citizens of the Jewish state. Whereas the Israelis place the accent on the eliminationist goals that underpin the violence—attacking Jews for the sole reason that they are Jews, with no legitimate claim to sovereignty in the land—much of the global human rights community has responded with scorn, arguing that the violence is the direct result of occupation and settlement building, that the Palestinians have the right to “resist” with all available means at their disposal, that poverty, lack of opportunity and the continuing denial of statehood are the primary causes of Palestinian anger, and that any Israeli use of force is by definition both lethal and disproportionate.
These themes have been continually emphasized during periods of crisis, from the three wars in Gaza over the last seven years to the present wave of stabbings that have targeted Israelis across the country. Organizations like Amnesty International have seized on these paroxysms of Palestinian violence to implore the governments around the world to do more to punish Israel.
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