Table of Contents:
- Amnesty International Accuses Hezbollah of War Crimes
- Oxfam rejects UK government funding for Lebanon relief, citing political grounds
- FIDH and EMHRN charge Israel with war crimes
- ANERA provides humanitarian assistance to Lebanon
- ICJ to report on "human rights infractions" during Lebanon war
- Sabeel denounces Israel’s operations in Lebanon
- NGO Monitor’s comprehensive analysis of NGO responses to the Lebanon conflict, including critiques of HRW and AI
- Oxfam calls for aid to be sent to Hamas-led Palestinian government
- International human rights groups largely ignore abduction of Fox News journalists
- Exception: Al Dameer calls for release of the journalists
- Al Mezan lobbies EU to force open Karni crossing to Gaza, threatening Israeli security
- Sabeel to hold a two-day conference in Kansas City
- Italian NGO volunteer murdered in East Jerusalem
Amnesty International Accuses Hezbollah of War Crimes
Amnesty International (AI) issued a report on September 14, 2006 entitled Hezbollah’s Attacks on Northern Israel. The report, which was intended to balance AI’s report on Israel issued on August 23, ( "Amnesty continues to distort human rights rhetoric to attack Israeli actions in Lebanon," NGO Monitor, Sept. 4, 2006), examines the impact of Hezbollah’s missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population. This report refers to the firing of missiles as indiscriminate and calls these actions war crimes, rejecting the justifications that had been presented by Hezbollah. Amnesty notes that it will address the use of human shields by Hezbollah for storing and launching missiles in a later report (this is also a violation of international law), while ignoring Hezbollah’s status as a terror group, as declared by the US, Canada, Israel, and other countries.
Oxfam rejects UK government funding for Lebanon relief, citing political grounds
On August 20, The Daily Telegraph reported that Oxfam rejected a potential £1 million from the U.K. government’s Department for International Development (DFID) for reconstruction in Lebanon. Oxfam stated that accepting British government money could compromise it’s neutrality due to the U.K.’s official stance during the conflict.
FIDH and EMHRN charge Israel with war crimes
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform (EMNGP), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) sent a delegation to Lebanon from 11 to 17 August 2006, "with the objective of demonstrating its solidarity with Lebanese civil society and evaluate the situation." In a press release of August 31, the delegation stated that "flagrant and grave breaches of the fourth Geneva Convention have been committed by the Israeli authorities. According to the mission, such acts are to be qualified as war crimes."
ANERA provides humanitarian assistance to Lebanon
On August 22, an AmeriCares airlift, partnered by American Near East Refugee Assistance (ANERA), arrived in Beirut with more than 15 tons of essential medicines and relief materials. ANERA has so far delivered $5 million of medicines and medical supplies to nearly 500 charities, government clinics and hospitals in Lebanon during and after the recent conflict.
ICJ to report on "human rights infractions" during Lebanon war
On August 16, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) announced that its "Expert Legal Inquiry" would investigate infractions of "international humanitarian law and human rights law" during the recent Lebanon conflict. It will focus on "methods of war on both sides that have caused the greatest loss of civilian life." The ICJ also called for a UN inquiry into alleged violations of international law during the war.
Sabeel denounces Israel’s operations in Lebanon
Sabeel, a radical Palestinian NGO which has played a key role in promoting church divestment from Israel, issued a press release on August 2. It condemned Israel’s operations in Lebanon, attributed the war to the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 and the "occupation" by Israel and America of other people’s land in the Middle East. The statement declares that in "the massacre in the village of Qana in the south of Lebanon on July 30th…over 60 people were killed". The figures provided by the Red Cross on July 30 stated that 28 people had been killed. Sabeel has not corrected this error.
NGO Monitor’s comprehensive analysis of NGO responses to the Lebanon conflict, including critiques of HRW and AI
NGO Monitor examined the response of major NGO’s throughout the recent Lebanon conflict, and compiled a comprehensive file of key statements, many of which demonstrated political objectives. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International’s coverage was noticeably one-sided and relied on distorted interpretations of international law. During and after the war, their approach was widely criticised, while their officials attempted to defend their actions.
Oxfam calls for aid to be sent to Hamas-led Palestinian government
Oxfam took a political stance in the current crisis between Israel and the Palestinian government and called for the resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), at a one-day conference held in Stockholm on August 31. Oxfam called on donor governments to the PA to "lift the current suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority" and to "press Israel to transfer Palestinian tax revenues that are being held on behalf of the Palestinian government." There was no mention of Hamas’ continued support for terrorism or rhetoric calling for Israel’s destruction (the reasons for the ongoing denial of aid.)
War on Want (WoW)’s July 2006 campaign for divestment from Israel by international firms has claimed a victory. In cooperation with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, WoW announced that Veolia Transport Ireland, which has a contract with Israel to build a tramline in Jerusalem, cancelled a driver-training contract for the tram system. War on Want is currently under investigation for breaching guidelines set by the U.K. Charity Commission prohibiting political campaigning.
International human rights groups largely ignore abduction of Fox News journalists
Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were silent following the kidnapping of two journalists for the American news service, Fox News, who were abducted by an extremist Palestinian group in Gaza on August 14. The men were held for nearly two weeks and were forced to convert to Islam during their captivity. HRW and AI did not mention the incident at all.
Exception: Al Dameer calls for release of the journalists
In contrast to this silence, Al Dameer, a Palestinian NGO whose politicization has been documentedin the past by NGO Monitor, condemned the journalists’ abduction and called on the PA to work to free the two men.
Al Mezan lobbies EU to force open Karni crossing to Gaza, threatening Israeli security
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, a Palestinian NGO based in Gaza, sent a letter to the European Union on August 30 demanding that Israel permanently open the Rafah and Karni crossings. Al Mezan claimed that Israel "has ignored its duties" agreed in November 2005 about the crossing points into Gaza. The NGO does not mention the frequent terror attacks on the Karni crossing. (Al Mezan has even condemned Israel for the killing of a Palestinian terrorist who was involved in one such attack). Nor does it describe the rampant smuggling that has occurred across Rafah since the November 2005 agreement, which has resulted in extensive arms-supplies entering Gaza from Egypt.
Sabeel to hold a two-day conference in Kansas City
Sabeel will hold a two-day conference in Kansas City on October 20-21. Speakers at the conference will include Jeff Halper of ICAHD, a radical Israeli NGO and Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the politicized Arab Association for Human Rights.
Italian NGO volunteer murdered in East Jerusalem
Angelo Frammartino, a volunteer at a development project of Progetto Sviluppo – the international development arm of the Italian Trade Union CGIL, was stabbed to death in East Jerusalem on August 10. Frammartino was volunteering at the Burj al-Luqluq community center in eastern Jerusalem, a drug rehabilitation center supported by Progetto Sviluppo
Report: Palestinian Center for Human Rights, September 11, 2006
Amnesty International continues to distort human rights rhetoric to attack Israeli actions in Lebanon, September 4, 2006
HRW receives unprecedented public criticism for its attacks on Israeli actions in Lebanon, August 29, 2006
"Human Rights Watch vs. Human Rights: The Cynical Manipulation of a Worthy Cause Has a History", Weekly Standard, Joshua Muravchik, September 11, 2006.
"Amnesty’s Disproportion", The Jewish Advocate, Charles Jacobs, September 11, 2006
"The Episcopal Church’s Anti-Israel Media Campaign", CAMERA, September 6, 2006
"So far, a profound disappointment", Hillel Neuer, International Herald Tribune, September 7, 2006
"Roth’s Latest", New YorkSun, August 23, 2006. See also " HRW receives unprecedented public criticism for its attacks on Israeli actions in Lebanon," August 29, NGO Monitor.
- An op-ed at Aljazeera.com argues that all criticism of Israel is labeled anti-Semitic, including NGO Monitor in its list of offenders, "Anti-Israel or Anti-Semite", Aljazeera.com, September 3, 2006
- Kathleen Peratis of Human Rights Watch (HRW) defends HRW in the Washington Post against recent criticisms made of it from numerous sources including NGO Monitor, "Diversionary Strike On a Rights Group", Washington Post, Kathleen Peratis, August 30, 2006