(Jerusalem, July 12, 2007) – Following Amnesty International’s statement marking a year since the beginning of the Second Lebanon War, Jerusalem based watchdog NGO Monitor has expressed continued concern over their approach to the conflict.
Amnesty’s comments again fail to hold Hezbollah responsible for initiating the conflict in an unprovoked cross border raid that saw eight Israeli servicemen killed and two kidnapped. In addition, Amnesty criticizes Israel’s use of cluster bombs but remain silent on Hezbollah’s firing of this weapon.
While it is commendable that Amnesty call on Hezbollah to provide information on the two kidnapped Israelis, they do not call for their release. This is an absurd deviation from Amnesty International’s founding principles.
There questions over Amnesty’s publications on the conflict remain. NGO Monitor’s detailed research has shown that through the use of highly politicized, unverifiable sources, Amnesty paint a one-sided, inaccurate picture.
Furthermore, through cross comparison of independent military analyses, NGO Monitor has disproved and discredited much of Amnesty’s research. An example is seen in Amnesty’s claim that they "found no evidence of Hezbollah military activity in or near the sites that were hit."(1), in relation to Israeli miltary strikes on Aitaroun. However, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center’s CSS study found evidence that 18 rockets were fired from within village houses, 23 within a 200 meter radius, and 54 within a 500 meter radius.(2)
NGO Monitor Executive Director Prof. Gerald Steinberg commented. "Once again, Amnesty and Malcolm Smart fail to hold Hezbollah to account for bringing about this conflict, and remain silent on Hezbollah’s extensive use of Lebanese human shields.
"Amnesty has yet to acknowledge the numerous discrepancies between its publications based on ‘eyewitness accounts’ during the fighting, and the hard evidence from photos and other sources, as detailed by NGO Monitor in December 2006. This is a political document, with no relationship to human rights or moral principle.
"Amnesty’s turnabout with regard to the UNHRC, is without doubt a notable move. However, their failure to call for the release of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser is shameful, and something I would strongly urge them to correct."
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at http://www.ngo-monitor.org
Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:
- French Government Funding of Political NGOs – July 09, 2007
- Report on HRW’s Activities in 2006: Political Bias Undermines Human Rights – June 26, 2007
- "Human Rights First": Without political bias – June 19, 2007
- Double Standards: HRW/Amnesty/Christian Aid Statements on the Conflict between Fatah-al-Islam and the Lebanese Army – June 12, 2007
NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.
For further information, comment or interviews, contact Jason Pearlman
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