The following is a response to Dan Izenberg’s interview with Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s chief researcher for the Arab-Israeli conflict zone (Jerusalem Post ‘HR Issues were ignored at Annapolis’, December 17th).
Dan Izenberg’s interview with Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s chief researcher for the Arab-Israeli conflict zone (‘HR Issues were ignored at Annapolis’, December 17th), highlights the dangerous ‘halo effect’ enjoyed by so many NGOs. Rovera, as an Amnesty International representative, is mistakenly assumed to be a regional expert. Yet, not only does she spend little time in the region and speak limited Hebrew, but her analysis in Izenberg’s interview is baffling – She omits to mention, let alone make the connection, between the reality of daily terror launched from Gaza while condemning Israeli government policy.
As detailed NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org) research has shown, the one-woman operation run by Ms. Rovera has produced numerous false claims, including in Amnesty’s obsessive reporting on the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Dr. Michael Ehrlich, the former head of Amnesty’s Israel branch (1998-9), exposed the façade of this “research” based on so-called eyewitness evidence, and this led him to resign in protest. And NGO Monitor has shown quantitatively how Amnesty has consistently and unfairly singled out Israel for condemnation, to a far greater extent than oppressive regimes such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Libya, making a mockery of human rights claims.
To restore its credibility, Rovera and her organization must discard their ideological bias and the false emphasis on ‘reporting on both sides’ — human rights are based on a single standard for all parties.
Associate Editor, NGO Monitor