The exploitation of international legal rhetoric is a major weapon in the political war to delegitmize Israeli anti-terror operations. During the Gaza conflict, NGOs have selectively charged Israel with "violations of law," "crimes against humanity," "war crimes," "disproportionate force" and "indiscriminate attacks." Many NGOs are already calling for international "investigations" and "lawfare" based on these accusations, in order to harass Israeli officials and promote a negative media image of Israel. At the same time, the violation of Gilad Shalits human rights and Hamas use of human shields are ignored.
Quantitative and Qualitative analysis of HRW in 2008 reflect the portrayal of Israel as the second worst abuser of human rights in the Middle East. HRW's use of international legal and human rights terminology singles out Israel for condemnation, while other serious human rights abusers receive little coverage. Evidence suggests that specific HRW personnel (Joe Stork, Sarah Leah Whitson and Marc Garlasco) are responsible for responsible for much of the bias, and when other individuals are centrally involved, the reports are less tendentious
In the first 16 days of fighting HRW released 11 statements on Gaza, primarily critical of Israel, including many using the rhetoric of international law for political objectives. Sarah Leah Whitson has carried HRWs campaign to the UN -- and similar to allegations made during the 2006 Lebanon war, HRWs claims about the IDFs use of white phosphorus lack credible evidence.
As predicted by NGO Monitor, the majority of NGO submissions to the UN's UPR of Israel ignore human rights issues facing Israelis and areas where Israel is a leader in this field, while grossly distorting the humanitarian, human rights and international legal dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nord-Sud XXI, Ittijah, Badil, and PGAAWC exploit human rights terminology and employ inflammatory rhetoric against Israel. Adalah, Amnesty, and others attribute "racist" motives to Israeli policies, instead of acknowledging that these are legitimate responses to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians.