Israels break with Human Rights Council understandable but misguided, says expert
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She is currently in Israel as a guest of NGO Monitor, a group critical of nonprofits dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Monday, she spoke at the launch of a new book by NGO Monitor, entitled “Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding,” saying that “we need to try and improve the quality of NGO reports by critiquing them when they are wrong.” “Show where an NGO misinterpreted international law or misreported facts on the ground so they can work to try and correct it,” Hampson urged at the event. In an interview with The Times of Israel, however, she defended some NGOs that often seem to treat Israel unfairly.
Hampson sees several problems with Goldstone’s approach. For once, she disagrees with some of his legal interpretations. “It was unrealistically rigid in a human rights kind of way,” she said. But more importantly, she charges, in the absence of all the facts, Goldstone should have refrained from bandying around loaded terms such as “war crime.” He should have rather stated that he fails to see any military objective to certain actions that took place, Hampson said. “What he can’t do is say it was a war crime, because he doesn’t know what [the army] was targeting. He could have expressed concern and say I want more information about it. If he didn’t have enough information, why did he reach conclusions?” “If there would be no military objective here, then it would be a war crime,” she said. “You can’t assume a war crime. You can say, I can’t reach a conclusion but I’ve got concerns. It’s not an excuse to say I didn’t know these things. He knew he didn’t know them. And if he didn’t know that he didn’t know them, he’s a crap lawyer.”