BDS IN THE PEWS
|The NGO Front in the Gaza War: B´Tselem|
Since December 27, 2008, B´Tselem has issued over 35 press releases and "testimonies" about the Gaza war, most of which cannot be independently verified. No testimonies of Israeli victims of Hamas attacks were published. B´Tselem participated in a press conference accusing Israel of "grave violations of international humanitarian law," "wanton use of lethal force," and "disproportionate harm to civilians." B´Tselem also makes claims about the military relevance of targets which it is not qualified to assess. B´Tselem´s statements largely erase Hamas´ use of human shields and its indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
The NGO Front in the Gaza War: Debate over Palestinian Casualties
There is a growing debate over Palestinian casualty claims. While the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Palestinian Ministry of Health have announced that the majority of fatalities were civilians, the IDF has estimated that “more than two-thirds of [the deaths] were Hamas members.” PCHR’s anti-Israel campaigning during war includes accusations of Israeli “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” “human holocaust,” “collective punishment,” “indiscriminate killing and continued systematic destruction of all the Palestinian institutions and civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip.”
The NGO Front in the Gaza War: Amnesty International
Since December 27, 2008, Amnesty International and its worldwide branches have released numerous statements on Gaza. These are primarily critical of Israel and use the rhetoric of international humanitarian law in a consistently biased manner. Amnesty accuses Israel of "unlawful," "disproportionate," and "indiscriminate" attacks against Palestinian civilians. Amnesty largely ignores the well-documented commandeering of civilian infrastructure and widespread use of human shields by Hamas. These accusations are similar to Amnesty’s false claims against Israel made during the Second Lebanon War.
The NGO Front in the Gaza War: Exploitation of International Law
The exploitation of international legal rhetoric is a major weapon in the political war to delegitmize Israeli anti-terror operations. During the Gaza conflict, NGOs have selectively charged Israel with "violations of law," "crimes against humanity," "war crimes," "disproportionate force" and "indiscriminate attacks." Many NGOs are already calling for international "investigations" and "lawfare" based on these accusations, in order to harass Israeli officials and promote a negative media image of Israel. At the same time, the violation of Gilad Shalit´s human rights and Hamas´ use of human shields are ignored.
Highlighting NGO (in)credibility on the Gaza conflict
HRW, anti-Israel Campaigns, and White Phosphorous: Condemn First, Correct (Maybe) Later
On January 10, HRW launched a public relations campaign condemning Israel for allegedly using white phosphorus weapons unlawfully in the conflict with Hamas. HRW´s large budget, and its media access via the "halo effect" results in the amplification of these reports in the press and through other NGOs, without independent investigation or verification. HRW´s disproportionate focus on this issue diverts attention from Hamas´ systematic use of human shields, its indiscriminate rocket attacks, and Iran´s role in fomenting the conflict.
Examining Human Rights Watch in 2008: Double Standards and Post-Colonial Ideology
Quantitative and Qualitative analysis of HRW in 2008 reflect the portrayal of Israel as the second worst abuser of human rights in the Middle East. HRW's use of international legal and human rights terminology singles out Israel for condemnation, while other serious human rights abusers receive little coverage. Evidence suggests that specific HRW personnel (Joe Stork, Sarah Leah Whitson and Marc Garlasco) are responsible for responsible for much of the bias, and when other individuals are centrally involved, the reports are less tendentious
The NGO front in the Gaza war: Human Rights Watch
In the first 16 days of fighting HRW released 11 statements on Gaza, primarily critical of Israel, including many using the rhetoric of international law for political objectives. Sarah Leah Whitson has carried HRW´s campaign to the UN -- and similar to allegations made during the 2006 Lebanon war, HRW´s claims about the IDF´s use of white phosphorus lack credible evidence.
The NGO front in the Gaza war: Oxfam
35 NGOs claiming to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas have issued more than 132 statements on the fighting so far. These reports are a central part of the “soft power” war being waged against Israel, in parallel to the “hard power” rocket and terror attacks. NGO Monitor´s series entitled, “The NGO Front,” will focus daily on different organizations, beginning with an analysis of Oxfam’s role.
Durban NGO Alert: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has lobbied for an NGO Forum at the Durban Review Conference, erasing the antisemitism and virulent anti-Israel rhetoric of the NGO Forum at the first Durban conference in 2001. In statements to the UN, WILPF falsely accuses Israel of "relentless destruction of Palestinian infrastructure" and maintaining "more than 650 checkpoints where Palestinians are brutalized and die." WILPF is a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), a highly politicized Israeli NGO umbrella group funded by NIF and the EU.
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