Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finger on trigger, Amnesty fires and again shoots self in foot

...Amnesty International should be ashamed of its role in exploiting the moral foundations of universal human rights to wage political warfare against Israel.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 February '14..

A major report, "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank", is being released by Amnesty International today.

Britain's Jewish Chronicle, has a brief editorial under the heading "Amnesty report: tawdry and biased" that says in a single paragraph what rational onlookers ought to know before diving into AI's litany of innuendo, accusations and distortions:

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]

We have only managed a quick read-through this morning, but can't help noticing it includes 32 mentions of the Tamimi tribe which proudly claims as its own a hugely-celebrated convicted mass-murderer. And it refers to Nabi Saleh no fewer than 25 times. That's the name of a dusty, undistinguished place north of Jerusalem about which we wrote last year: see "17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns". Nabi Saleh has brazenly re-invented itself as a symbol of the human rights movement, providing a platform for individuals like Bassem Tamimi, photographed in the report over a caption that honours him with the title "a human rights defender", who are thoroughly and successfully exploiting it. A year ago, a New York Times Magazine cover story said Nabi Saleh has "achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.

But thinking of Nabi Saleh and the Tamimis as being part of the human rights industry involves taking an extremely selective view of the evidence, and ignoring large parts of it.


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