Sunday, July 10, 2016

  • Sunday, July 10, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last year Amnesty International came out with a page on the one-year anniversary of the Gaza war (advertising their very inaccurate Gaza Platform) with its usual combination of lies and half-truths.

One of the charges they made was that Israel deliberately targeted family homes for no reason except to murder entire families. Here's what they wrote:

I pointed out that by the time that they wrote this report it was already well-known that in fact there was a Hamas military commander who was killed in that airstrike, something that Amnesty purposefully hid from its readers.

We know that Amnesty hid is because it was known that 26 people were killed in the strike, not 25.

Here was what B'Tselem wrote about the Abu Jame home in 2014:

I published photos of Sahmoud and pointed out that he had a huge funeral, indicating his importance to the terror group.

I wrote at the time that it is still reasonable to ask whether the 25 family members killed indicated a violation of the principle of proportionality in war, and that Israel was investigating it.

But this proved that Amnesty knowingly misrepresented the circumstances of the incident.

This year, Amnesty put out another report on the anniversary of the Gaza war, and once again trotted out the Abu Jame family as an example of Israeli war crimes. But this time it admitted that Sahmoud was killed too:

Although Israel has not released any information on the attack, its apparent target was Ahmad Sulaiman Sahmoud, a Hamas operative, who died in the strike. The families said he was not in the building at the time but may have been in the vicinity. If Ahmad Sulaiman Sahmoud was the intended target, the attack was disproportionate and a potential war crime. It should have been apparent that a large number of civilians were in the house, and the attack should have been cancelled or postponed. 
So they changed their charge from "Israel obviously targeted civilians" to "Israel should have been more careful when targeting militants." Yet they still claim "war crime."

We don't know the circumstances of the targeting of the home. But what we do know is that Amnesty was wrong to assume in 2015 that Israel had no military target, and they are wrong to assume in 2016 that Sahmoud was the only reason that Israel targeted the home. After all, if the Abu Jame family lied to Amnesty about whether they were harboring a Hamas terrorist (whether voluntarily or not) they would also lie about whether there were any command centers or weapons caches hidden in their house, which would make it a valid military target if either Sahmoud was a high-enough level Hamas operative or if the targets were of sufficient value.

Amnesty declared Israel guilty while apparently hiding some exculpatory evidence. And now they are declaring Israel guilty even with that evidence. This only goes to prove that Amnesty knows that it wants to damn Israel and it creates and modifies the narrative to achieve that aim.

It is also telling that Amnesty chose to highlight the Abu Jame family again. If Israel had routinely attacked family homes in Gaza, as Amnesty charged last year and the year before, surely they could have found other houses without any terrorists being targeted?

Yet last year Amnesty tried to do exactly that on the anniversaries of many Israeli attacks, and for virtually all the cases I was able to find a legitimate target.

Fact: Homeowner Essam is a fighter for the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades of Fatah. His nom de guerre is Abu Mustafa.

Fact: Two Islamic Jihad militants were killed in the same attack, including a family member.

Fact: A family member was a Hamas militant, even though Amnesty investigated this themselves and couldn't figure that out.

Amnesty's lies were demolished by me last year about Israel's supposed indiscriminate bombing of houses - and therefore they are moving the goalposts without correcting the older reports and tweets that slander Israel. This new report even links back to the old Amnesty report that gives the slander of indiscriminate bombing, a report that has not been corrected despite the fact that Amnesty clearly is aware of the facts by now, as evidenced by their grudgingly adding the fact that terrorist Ahmad Sahmoud was killed at the Abu Jame home.

If you still need evidence that Amnesty is more interested in bashing Israel than in reporting the truth, you are simply not willing to listen.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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