Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An EoZ reader wrote to Amnesty International with a series of questions. An excerpt:
I can see that the information provided in the [Gaza] platform has been collected from Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and yourselves. Could you not at least have pretended to be in any way balanced by providing input from the most left-leaning Israeli groups such as B'tselem when putting this data together? If you really had wished to take an impartial look at these incidents, you could have also included data from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre who have looked through various war crimes allegations in Gaza last year and provided a different version of events to what Al Mezan and the PCHR have claimed. I must also refer you to the Elder of Ziyon blog which has consistently highlighted claims of war crimes on “innocent civilians” (many included in the platform) where it is known that terrorists were present at that location and time. Here are some of these documented cases:

In short my questions are:
1) Why has Amnesty decided to spend so much time and resources focusing on the Jewish state, but are unable to pass a resolution focussing on combating antisemitism in the UK?
2) Why is Israel implicated by yourselves as having systematically committed violations without any conclusive evidence?
3) Why is Hamas not mentioned at all in your press release here?:
4) Why have you based the platform only on information from Palestinian groups who cannot be trusted to reflect the full picture of what happened?

I think I already have the answer, but I would be only to happy to have a response from you with your answer.

Looking forward to your response.
Here was some of their response (sent a couple of weeks ago):
Our latest report that you have seen documents Israeli attacks last year that caused huge loss of civilian life and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

A further report is due to be issued tomorrow on intensive attacks on Rafah, in the South of the Gaza strip, from 1-4 August last year, in which 135 Palestinian civilians including 75 children were killed, during a massive bombardment of civilian areas following the capture of an Israeli soldier.

Amnesty's findings are in accordance with those of other human rights organisations, including B'Tselem, and I'm not sure why you would quote B'Tselem as if their findings were different from ours. B'Tselem's findings on Israeli violations are very much in line with our own, eg see here:

We would not deem elderofziyon a credible source.
Amnesty's response did not address the research done by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre which exhaustively documented hundreds of terrorists, many of which Amnesty's Gaza Platform called "civilian." The UNHRC quoted the Meir Amit Center a number of times in their report but apparently it is too unreliable for Amnesty.

B'Tselem also noticed militants that Amnesty pretended didn't exist. I documented one, Ahmad Sahmoud, here, Although the Gaza Platform did count him as a militant, Amnesty quoted family members as saying that there were no militants in the area without pointing out that they were lying - and Amnesty knew they were lying.

But there are other examples of B'Tselem being more honest than Amnesty:
  • Amnesty says Amjad Zaher Moussa Hamdan was a civilian. B'Tselem reported he was a militant. (GP event 1190)
  • Amnesty says that Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma was a civilian. B'Tselem knew he was a militant. (GP event 2264.)
  • Amnesty said that Yazid al Batsh was a civilian. B'Tselem reported him as a militant. (GP event 1619.) Six other from that family were also terrorists, as I have shown.
  • Amnesty said Wissam 'Abdul Raziq al-Ghannam was a civilian,. B'Tselem knew he was a militant. (GP event 1405.)
  • Amnesty says Ashraf Mahmoud Al Astal was a civilian. B'Tselem knows he was a terrorist. (GP event 2584.)
(There were a couple of others that B'Tselem identified that I couldn't find immediately in Amnesty's Gaza Platform.)

So the letter writer was right - Amnesty ignored even B'Tselem's reports that shows some of their "civilians" were terrorists.

All of this information was published by B'Tselem over a year ago. Amnesty's researchers did not deem it important enough to incorporate into their Gaza Platform.

Now, Amnesty's dismissal of my research is interesting. In order for them to say I'm not credible, they must have read my research and pretended that my facts, all with supporting evidence in the form of links to source materials in militant websites or videos, are not true.

This proves that Amnesty is familiar with my articles and cannot argue with them. They cannot find any fault in my facts. So they try to discredit me without giving an iota of proof.

This letter proves that Amnesty is not interested in the truth, and that they will defend their lies even when they know that they are lying..

I've proven that Amnesty is not credible with transparent research that anyone can check. They call me non-credible without a single example..

Now a new clock is ticking. Will Amnesty correct the Gaza Platform for the five people I just documented that B'Tselem identified as terrorists? After all, Amnesty-USA claims that they would correct any errors. Sure it's been a week since I sent some to them, but maybe photos of terrorists with RPGs and uniforms isn't enough proof for Amnesty.  But surely B'Tselem's research should be enough to force them to correct their platform, right?

We'll see.

The letter writer followed up pointing out how poor Amnesty's answer was and how my facts were backed up by easily verified facts. He never received a response.

(h/t RS)

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