[Opinion] Amnesty International's Annual Report: Empty Slogans and Zero Evidence
Amnesty International is the most powerful global organization claiming to promote human rights, measured in terms of annual budget, staff size and influence among journalists and government officials.
The publicity the NGO’s reports still get is based more on its large budget for public relations than on any ability to assess human rights in a credible manner.
Amnesty’s 2016/17 annual report, released with great fanfare (if little substance) earlier this week, illustrates these failures.
Legal terms used to vilify the IDF, such as “excessive force,” and “harsh sentences” for ostensibly “minor offenses” are undefined, without sources or evidence. The old memes of “collective punishment” in the Gaza Strip and the terrorist-run “humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara” are trotted out yet again…Blanket allegations that Israel “failed to ensure accountability…” are recycled and stripped of context (terrorism).
The claim that the IDF, police and Ministry of Justice “did not investigate, failed to investigate adequately, or closed investigations into cases of alleged unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces in both Israel and the OPT” ignores long-standing procedures for review in both the Israeli military and civilian justice systems.
The principle of universal human rights is not served by stringing together a series of ideological slogans, unsupported accusations and blanket allegations that turn every counterterrorism action into a war crime. Amnesty would do better by carefully examining its own behavior and contributions to the terrible state of human rights in the world today.