On April 30, 2013, an Israeli civilian, Evyatar Borovsky, was murdered by a terrorist in the West Bank. As noted by B’Tselem, “There is absolutely no moral or legal justification for attacks that deliberately target civilians… settlers are civilians – and [there is an] unequivocal prohibition [on] attacks that target them.”
Amnesty International also issued a statement under the headline, “Israel must remove new settler outpost in the West Bank” – in reference to a “new outpost [that] was set up following the killing of Evyatar Borovsky.” The bulk of the press release does not address the murder. Rather, it deals with accusations of Israeli wrongdoing in the aftermath of the killing, such as “a wave of violence against Palestinian civilians and their property” and allegations that “Israeli authorities…seemed to turn a blind eye to much of the violence perpetrated against Palestinian civilians and their property.”
To be sure, Amnesty condemned, in a general sense, Borovsky’s murder – “We deplore all deliberate attacks on civilians, including settlers.” Yet, it immediately pivoted to its primary concern, condemning Israel, “But this killing must not be used as an excuse for further violations of the human rights of Palestinians.”
It is also noteworthy that Amnesty highlights that Borovsky “was carrying a gun at the time of the attack.” The inclusion of this isolated fact (Amnesty does not mention that the perpetrator stole the gun and attempted to murder more people with it) is perplexing since it does not affect the international law and human rights issues.
This statement is yet another example of Amnesty’s campaign of dehumanizing Israelis in order to advance a predetermined political position, as opposed to a human rights agenda. Amnesty is unable and unwilling to condemn violations against Israel in their own terms. Rather, there is always artificial (im)moral equivalence, or the condemnations are a pretext for expanded political warfare against Israel.