Sunday, February 05, 2012

  • Sunday, February 05, 2012
  • Elder of Ziyon
Amnesty International has published another broadside against Israel, this one in Huffington Post. It lists a long line of supposed Israeli crimes, without giving sources.

Here is just the first sentence:
As the Quartet celebrates the resumption of bilateral negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in Jordan this month, a record number of Palestinians find themselves out in the cold this winter due to illegal home demolitions by Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
Lets examine this sentence.

Its main point - repeated in its press release from December, released along with some twenty other NGOs - is that "a record number of Palestinians " are displaced.

What is this record number?
The figures show that since the beginning of 2011 more than 500 Palestinian essential structures were destroyed in the OPT, with over 1,000 Palestinians displaced -- doubling the number displaced over the same period in 2010, and the highest figure since at least 2005.
Amnesty's definition of a "record" is apparently "the most in the last seven years." That is not what the word "record" means.

And note that they aren't saying 500 homes, but 500 "essential structures." These include illegally built wells - wells that threaten the entire region's water supply. Amnesty is claiming that Palestinian Arabs have the right to damage everyone's access to water, and Israel has no right to stop them in territory they define as "occupied."

But if Israel is occupying the territory, as Amnesty claims, then Israel's responsibility is precisely to administer natural resources according to the Hague Convention - which presumably includes water.

Certainly, under the laws of occupation, Israel would be obligated to continue applying Jordanian law that applied to the areas before 1967, and it seems difficult to believe that Jordan did not enforce any zoning laws in the territory it occupied or that it tolerated the wanton illegal construction of housing. Amnesty pointedly does not address that issue - can any (Arab) who desires build anywhere they want in occupied territory?

Now, are the people who previously lived in these illegal structures out in the cold? Are they homeless? The NGOs give no evidence in that regard. This is Amnesty's hyperbole meant to demonize Israel and they have no basis in fact.

The real fact is that in 2011, the Palestinian Authority built or was expected to build 33,822 dwelling units. In just that one year. Israeli "record demolitions" are less than one percent of the total new construction last year. (In fact, the PA constructed more new units than Israelis did -not in the territories, but in Israel itself!)

And yet again, Amnesty - along with the UN and every other NGO - refers to the territories as "Occupied Palestinian Territories."

When international law scholar Eugene Kontorovich spoke at NYU last month, I asked him a question afterwards about Jordanian and Palestinian Arab claims to the West Bank. He stated:

If you think that the competing claims to the West Bank are Israel and its previous occupant, Jordan, then you would think that Israel would enjoy undisturbed title, and then this group of Palestinians organized themselves to challenge that title, it would have to be  a retroactive challenge, which is the difficulty of it.

When Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinians were an "invented people," he was much criticized. Some people said, and I think quite rightly, that even if they are invented, it doesn't really matter, because you can invent a people - people can be invented. If a group of people decide to think of themselves as a nation, that can actually have real force. Who's to stop a people from inventing themselves?

I completely agree with that. There is nothing wrong with being an invented people; every people is in some sense invented.

The only question is: what's the date of that invention? If it is a post-'67 phenomenon, it seems hard to understand how that can make territory, whose status changed in 1967, "Palestinian Territory" retroactively.
I have never seen any real legal opinion that describes exactly how Palestinian Arabs can be described as the presumed legal owners of the West Bank. As with the UN, Amnesty seems to be using the term "Occupied Palestinian Territories" as a catchphrase, without any legal basis. It has become part of the discourse based on repetition and wishful thinking, not based on fact. Calling Area C and perhaps Area B "occupied" is defensible from a legal standpoint, but not calling them "Occupied Palestinian Territory."

This single sentence in the Huffington Post shows four separate examples of how Amnesty is less interested in truth than in demonizing Israel. For people who believe that Amnesty is the paragon of impartiality, this should be troubling indeed.

(h/t Erik)

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com


translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive