Following two terror attacks carried out by Hamas on August 31 and September 1, in which four Israeli civilians were murdered, human rights organizations remained largely silent. Aside from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Rabbis for Human Rights, none of the many other NGOs active in the region issued statements regarding the murders. This is further evidence of their ideological bias and moral selectivity, which undermines the universal principles of human rights.

In their statements, B’Tselem and HRW referred to the attacks on civilians as “war crimes,” while Amnesty said that targeting civilians is “prohibited absolutely under international law.”

Only B’Tselem, however, focused exclusively on the attacks against Israelis. HRW’s statement used the attack to engage in further condemnations of the Israeli government and gratuitously cautioned Israeli security forces against using “excessive” force when trying to apprehend the perpetrators. In addition, the organization called for an investigation into recent attacks against Palestinians carried out by Jews, and noted the “unlawful” status of Israeli settlements under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Although Amnesty condemned the attack, it also referred to a nonexistent right to “engage[] in armed struggle for self-determination” by “people under occupation.” It also condemned “reprisal attacks” carried out by Jewish civilians following the murders, yet offered no specific information, making its claims impossible to verify.

In an email “whose primary intent was to recruit volunteers… to protect Palestinians who were being attacked,” Arik Ascherman of Rabbis For Human Rights wrote, “May God comfort the families of those murdered tonight, and also protect Palestinian families from attempts at revenge.”

European government funded Palestinian NGOs Al-Haq and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued condemnations of the subsequent arrest of Hamas members, without condemning the murders. Both organizations frequently refer to attacks on Israeli civilians as “resistance.”