Amnesty International published a report on the first anniversary of the Gaza war (Suffocating: The Gaza Strip under Israeli Blockade, January 18, 2010), accusing Israel of “collective punishment under international law.” Egypt’s and Hamas’ responsibility is minimized by the legally false assertion that “as the occupying power, it is Israel that bears the foremost responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza.” The report also repeats the dubious claim, which originated in an earlier Amnesty report on Gaza, that an Israeli air attack destroyed the Bader flour mill. This incident was not contemporaneously reported by the Palestinian NGOs in Gaza, but was repeated in the Goldstone Report (para. 50). According to the Israeli army, photographs prove that the mill was accidentally hit by artillery during a firefight with Hamas combatants.

Amnesty has also mounted a defense of the exploitation of British courts by pro-Palestinian “lawfare” activists. Amnesty-UK Director Kate Allen, along with other anti-Israel NGO officials, signed a letter published in the Guardian (“We must not renege on war crime laws,” January 16, 2010), protesting proposed changes to British law that would limit the unregulated access to UK judges that allows for politically motivated cases, such as the attempt to arrest Tzipi Livni in December 2009.

Contrary to claims in the letter, the proposed changes would not prevent “victims of war crimes [from] seek[ing] justice in British courts.” Rather, it would establish safeguards against abuse of the current system whereby NGOs can obtain arrest warrants unchecked.