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December 1, 2006

ZOA on Carter

Filed under: Israel, Organisationer — limewoody @ 11:52 am

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned former President
Jimmy Carter’s latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, as inaccurate,
shallow and vicious. The book is but the latest in decades of attacks upon
Israel by the former President.

Examples of Carter’s distortions, inaccuracies and hostility in this book

Carter: “The overriding problem is that for more than a quarter of a
century, the actions of some Israeli leaders have been in direct conflict
the official positions of the United States, the international community,
and their own negotiated agreements. . Israel’s continued control and
colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a
comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”
Fact: Judea and Samaria are historically, legally and religiously Jewish
land and form part of territory originally earmarked for a Jewish state by
the League of Nations. There has never been a Palestinian Arab state in
these areas, despite offers to establish one in 1937, 1948 and 2000 and
Israel won Judea and Samaria in the 1967 war of self-defense. This land was
no-one’s sovereign territory and had been illegally occupied and annexed by
Jordan in 1948. When under Arab control, no Palestinian state was set up
there. Jews have more right to live in Judea and Samaria than any other

Carter: Palestinian Arabs have long supported a two-state solution and the
Israelis have always opposed it.
Fact: The 1937 Peel Commission partition plan, the 1947 UN partition plan
and the 2000 peace plan all proposed a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish
state. Palestinians rejected all three.

Carter: In 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack against Jordan.
Fact: Jordan commenced hostilities against Israel by shelling Jerusalem and
opening fire on Israeli lines, despite Israeli calls for Jordan not to
intervene in the Israeli-Egyptian fighting. Israel then counter-attacked and
captured east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Carter: UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 242 calls for Israel to
withdraw from all the territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 war.
Fact: UNSC 242 does not call for immediate, total and unconditional
withdrawal by Israel. Rather, it calls for Israel to withdraw “from
territories occupied” (not “the territories”) to “secure and recognized
boundaries” produced by negotiation with the Arab belligerents of that war.

Carter: Arab-Jewish violence began when “Jewish militants” attacked Arabs in
Fact: Arabs launched attacks upon unarmed Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929 and
1936-39, murdering hundreds of Jewish civilians long before Jewish armed
units were formed to defend themselves.

Carter: Blames Israel while exonerating Arafat, for the Palestinian refusal
to accept a Palestinian state as provided for in the 2000 Barak-Clinton
peace proposals.
Fact: Arafat rejected these proposals and made no counter-offer according to
Clinton and chief U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross. Instead, Arafat launched a
terror war against Israel that still endures. Clinton said in his memoirs
that Arafat’s rejection made his Middle East policy a big failure. These
proposals, contrary to what Arafat said and Carter chooses to believe, would
have resulted in a fully contiguous Palestinian state on more than 95% of
Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Carter: Confessions extracted through torture are admissible in Israeli
Fact: The Israel Supreme Court has explicitly outlawed the use of torture to
even extract information of impending terror attacks, let alone confessions.

Carter: Israel is to blame for the “exodus of Christians from the Holy
Fact: The Christian population of Jerusalem and other cities controlled by
Jordan dropped steeply under Jordanian rule (1948-67) and is doing so again
under Arafat’s PA (1994 onwards), but did not under Israel rule. 70% of east
Jerusalem’s Christians left during Jordanian rule and since Arafat’s PA took
over Bethlehem in 1994, most of its Christians have left as well.

Some important facts omitted from Carter’s book:

-The long history of Palestinian and Arab-state sponsored terrorism against
Israel before 1967.
-Arafat’s efforts to import offensive weaponry and bomb making materials
from Iran via the Karine-A ship in 2002, about which Arafat lied to the U.S.
government, saying he had nothing to do with it
-The persecution, expulsion and expropriation of the property of hundreds of
thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.
-The desecration and destruction of Jewish synagogues, graveyards and homes
in east Jerusalem and prevention of Jewish worship at Jewish sacred sites
after Jordan captured that part of the city in 1948.
-The 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in an operation funded by
current Palestinian authority president and co-founder with Yasser Arafat of
the Fatah terror group, Mahmoud Abbas.

Critical commentary of the Carter book:

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor: “Whatever Mr. Carter’s motives may
be, his authorship of this, a historical, one-sided, and simplistic brief
against Israel forever disqualifies him from playing any positive role in
fairly resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians” ( New
York Sun, November 22).

Martin Peretz, Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic: a “tendentious,
dishonest and stupid book” (New Republic, November 11).

Rich Richman, Editor, Jewish Current Issues: “The anti-Israel bias is so
clear, the credulous description of Arab positions so cringe-producing, the
key ‘facts’ on which Carter relies so easily refuted by public documents,
that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency
and Americans” ( American Thinker, November 14).

Michael Jacobs, Managing Editor, Atlanta Jewish Times: “A poorly written,
poorly argued, nonsensical little book” ( Altanta Journal Constitution,
November 20).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Jimmy Carter’s inaccurate,
shallow and vicious book is unfortunately what we have come to expect from
this most mediocre of modern presidents. The book is not only riddled with
factual errors and distortions fully in keeping with Carter’s long-standing
bias against Israel and preference for neighboring Arab dictatorships, but
even manages to malign Israel in its title, as Israel is a democracy that
extends full civil rights to its non-Jewish citizens, not a minority, racist
regime that like apartheid South Africa. The title seems to have been
maliciously chosen to harm Israel’s reputation in the minds of anyone who
merely sees the book’s cover, because even Carter admits in the book that
the situation in Israel ‘is unlike that in South Africa.’

“Carter’s animus against Israel has been confirmed from many reliable
quarters. His Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, once revealed that if Carter
had won a second term, he intended to sell Israel down the river. In The
Unfinished Presidency, Douglas Brinkley writes, ‘There was no world leader
Jimmy Carter was more eager to know than Yasir Arafat,’ whom he befriended
already in 1990, three years before Arafat supposedly accepted Israel’s
right to exist and signed the Oslo Accords. But what would you expect from
someone who won a prize from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan of the United
Arab Emirates whose Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up has promoted
Holocaust denial?

“The ZOA, however, agrees with Jimmy Carter on one matter. On a recent visit
to Israel, he said, ‘I condemn very deeply any teaching of Palestinian
children or college students that they should despise Israel, not recognize
the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, [and] not work with Israel
side-by-side in peace.’ It’s a pity that Carter fails in his book to enlarge
on this and related issues of incitement to hatred and murder and failure to
arrest and jail terrorists in the PA which stems from Palestinian Arab
non-acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. This was and
remains the actual reason for the Arab war on Israel, not Israel’s
self-defensive measures, none of which would be necessary if Arabs truly
accepted Israel’s existence.”


September 19, 2006

Ups: Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized the new UN Human Rights Council for its one-sided attacks on Israel and disproportionate attention to the Middle East.

Filed under: Israel, Mellemøsten, Militær, NGO, Organisationer, UN — limewoody @ 3:04 pm

September 1, 2006

Human Rights Watch blood libel

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Israel, NGO, Organisationer, Terror — limewoody @ 6:06 pm

A Malaysian newspaper recently published an article headlined “Israel
deliberately targeting civilians, says Human Rights Watch.”

Turkish newspapers ran similar items, repeating HRW’s statements that
“Israel intentionally bombs civilians.” During the Lebanon War HRW’s press
releases, opeds and interviews with officials were cited in hundreds of
newspapers around the world, providing seeming legitimacy from a “neutral
source” to the violent anti-Israel protests and calls for revenge.
For HRW and executive director Kenneth Roth, Israel is a highly emotional
focus, and their reports are often biased and unreliable.

Roth’s ideological objectives and slipshod methods are illustrated in an
August 18 column published in The Jerusalem Post
(“Indiscriminate Bombardment”). Rejecting claims that “the IDF was doing the
best it could” or that Lebanese civilian deaths “were the result of
Hizbullah hiding its rockets and fighters among civilians,” Roth declared
that this “assertion doesn’t stand up to the facts.” This modern blood libel
accuses Israelis of “indifference to the taking of civilian lives.”

But the factual basis for this article itself was glaringly absent.

Instead, Roth relied on the “halo effect,” (the NGO version of “trust me”),
claiming that HRW “investigated some two dozen bombing incidents in Lebanon.
In none of those cases was Hizbullah anywhere around at the time of the

Lacking any verifiable evidence, Roth reassures his readers that HRW
research techniques “cut through people’s incentive to lie.” These
researchers “probed and cross-checked multiple eyewitnesses,” who “were
adamant that Hizbullah was not at the scene of the attack. We examined
bombing sites for evidence of military activity such as trenches, destroyed
rocket launchers and military equipment, or dead or wounded fighters….”

ROTH DOES not provide names, but it is likely that Lucy Mair, HRW’s
researcher for Israeli/Palestinian issues, was involved. A number of HRW’s
statements on the Lebanon war provided Mair’s name and a Beirut phone
number. Before coming to HRW, she published anti-Israel propaganda in
pro-Palestinian platforms such as the “Electronic Intifada.” This is hardly
a credible biography for an “independent” researcher.

Furthermore, none of Roth’s other claims can be checked, and they are
totally inconsistent with the hard evidence, such as the
4,000 missiles launched by Hizbullah at Israeli civilians during this

Reporters from The New York Times, The New Yorker and elsewhere had no
difficulty finding reliable detailed evidence of Hizbullah’s activities in
these areas, but HRW’s “probes” and “searches” came up empty. Perhaps they
were not looking very hard.

And in dismissing the justification for the IDF attack on Kana, Roth relies
on confused interpretations of an article by an Israeli journalist, and
denigrates video footage “trotted out” by the IDF “of Hizbullah firing
rockets from a village.” Instead, Roth makes the patently absurd demand for
a video that would show “that Hizbullah was in a civilian building or
vehicle at the time of an Israeli attack.”

Finally, Roth admits that “Hizbullah certainly should not be let off the
hook” – as if the kidnappings and massive missile bombardments by terrorists
are minor footnotes in terms of human rights. His claim that HRW has
conducted “detailed investigations of the militia’s obvious war crimes” is
also inconsistent with the evidence. Of the 24 HRW statements and opeds
during this war, as listed on NGO Monitor, most targeted Israel, and the
only lengthy study, of over 50 pages, also focused on allegations against
Israel. HRW’s very limited criticisms of Hizbullah, like its statements on
Palestinian terror, appear to be little more than fig leaves.

In assessing HRW’s biased and unprofessional performance in the Lebanon War,
previous examples provide a consistent picture. In October 2004, Roth flew
to Jerusalem to publicize Razing Rafah, HRW’s glossy 135-page publication
condemning Israel’s anti-terror operations in Gaza. The evidence in this
report, which dismissed the impact of the weapons smuggling through tunnels
from Egypt, was based largely on Palestinian “eyewitnesses” and claims by
Marc Garlasco, HRW’s “military expert.”

Garlasco’s published biosketch shows very limited military experience,
particularly in the areas of tunneling and forensics that were emphasized in
this report. Garlasco was also central to HRW’s public relations campaign
over the Gaza beach incident in June 2006, which supported the Palestinian
version and blamed Israel. In this case as well, Garlasco relied on evidence
provided by the Palestinian police, while ignoring details that were not
consistent with his thesis.

With an annual budget of $50 million, Roth and his funders are obliged to
insure that HRW’s reports are accurate and free of ideological bias. In
contrast, when these reports are instrumental in spreading anti-Israel
sentiment in Malaysia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Europe and elsewhere, the result
is the antithesis of the human rights objectives proclaimed by HRW.
Rather than the independent investigations of Israel that Roth always
demands, it is his HRW’s activities that need to be investigated.
The writer is the director of the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan
University and the editor of NGO Monitor.

August 25, 2006

The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, is at it again, twisting the facts in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, his third in recent weeks attempting to defend his organization’s slanted reporting against Israel …..

Filed under: Israel, Organisationer — limewoody @ 9:54 am

The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, is at it again, twisting the facts in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, his third in recent weeks attempting to defend his organization’s slanted reporting against Israel against and to disparage critics who see it for what it is. Mr. Roth is a clever man, but he and his organization are in the wrong here. The record extends back to before the current round of fighting.

Mr. Roth begins his letter by patting his own organization on the back for supposedly debunking claims of an Israeli massacre at Jenin. Yet it’s a false boast. A New York Times article on Jenin quoted a Human Rights Watch senior researcher, Peter Bouckaert, saying of Israel: “We have no doubt that extremely serious violations of the laws of war were committed. The evidence is certainly strong enough to warrant a war crimes investigation.”

When the United Nations finally issued a report absolving Israel, Mr. Bouckaert was quoted by the French wire service AFP as accusing Israel of obstructing the U.N. investigation and of having engaged in “very serious abuses,” including “deliberate and unlawful killing of civilians.” As recently as June of this year Mr. Bouckaert had a letter in the New Republic saying that Human Rights Watch “concluded that the army committed serious violations of the laws of war during its Jenin operation — some of them amounting to prima facie war crimes.” It’s an awfully fine distinction Mr. Roth wants credit for: Human Rights Watch didn’t accuse Israel of a massacre in Jenin, just of deliberately and unlawfully killing civilians and engaging in “war crimes.”

Mr. Roth goes on to deny a “rush to judgment” in Qana. But only hours after the attack, Mr. Roth and Human Rights Watch issued a press release headlined “Israel Responsible for Qana Attack, Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime.” The press release claimed the Israeli attack killed “at least 54 civilians,” a death toll that subsequently was revised downward to 28. Mr. Roth denies that he rushed to judgment, but he found Israel guilty of a war crime in a press release issued only hours after the attack.

Mr. Roth claims the Israel Defense Force “admitted that on the day of the attack there was no evidence of Hezbollah activity or rocket fire from Qana,” as if that were somehow dispositive. But the same IDF statement, according to a report in the New York Times, said that more than 150 rockets had been launched against Israel in the previous weeks from in and near Qana. Days after the Israeli strike on Qana that Mr. Roth decided in a matter of hours had been a “war crime,” the New YorkTimes reported “The Israeli military said the rockets that hit Haifa were fired from the Lebanese village of Qana, and that the military had hit and destroyed the launcher shortly afterward.”

The executive director of Human Rights Watch seems to think that even if hundreds of rockets are being fired from a Lebanese town at Israeli cities on the days before and after an Israeli attack, the Lebanese town should be immune from attack so long as no rockets were fired in the hours immediately preceding the attack. That standard is unrealistic for Israel, which has to plan its military operations in advance and is trying to defend itself from a terrorist group trying to kill Israeli civilians. The alternative to air strikes is ground operations in which Israeli soldiers risk being ambushed. How many Israeli ground troops does Mr. Roth think should die to satisfy his qualms about the timing of Israeli air raids?

Mr. Roth tries to parry a complaint about the imbalance of Human Rights Watch’s work in “Israel and the Arab world” by claiming, “A recent survey of Human Rights Watch’s work in the region showed that publications on Israel lagged behind those on each of Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Turkey.” Well, it may come as news to Mr. Roth, but Iran and Turkey are not part of the “Arab world.” And much of Human Rights Watch’s work on Iraq was devoted to criticizing the actions of American Marines and the Bush administration, which only further underscores the organization’s bias. Anyway, Israel is hardly in Egypt or Sudan’s league as a human rights abuser, so it’s hard to see why Mr. Roth thinks anyone should be mollified by this non-response.

Mr. Roth claims to have half a staff member out of 230 devoted to researching Israeli “abuses.” How, then, one wonders, can he have been so sure, in a matter of hours, that Israel had committed a “war crime” at Qana? How can he be so certain that in “two dozen cases” there was “no evidence of Hezbollah”? He’s trying to have it both ways — claiming, on the one hand, that he’s got lots of authoritative researchers investigating Israeli war crimes while, on the other hand, claiming that he only has one person devoted half-time to Israel.

Mr. Roth calls “moral equivalence” a “false charge,” yet he recently wrote, “under international humanitarian law, just as Israeli abuses in Lebanon did not justify reprisals against Israeli civilians, so Hizbullah’s war crimes did not justify Israel shirking its duty to protect Lebanese civilians.” He wrote to us that Human Rights Watch “never identifies the aggressor or the defender.”

A similar slipperiness obtained on a recent television appearance by Mr. Roth on “The O’Reilly Factor,” a Fox News Channel program that bills itself as a “no-spin zone.” The host, Bill O’Reilly, called Mr. Roth “an honest guy.” On the program, Mr. Roth, pressed by Mr. O’Reilly, said he thought Hezbollah was a terrorist group. Yet none of Human Rights Watch’s extensive material on the conflict in Israel and Lebanon refers to Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It calls Hezbollah a “militia.”

Also in the “no-spin zone,” Mr. Roth said, “With Israel, though, I don’t believe that they’re deliberately trying to kill civilians as a matter of policy.” Yet in a letter to The New York Sun, he accused Israel of “slaughter,” writing, “whether by design or callous indifference, Israeli bombing has killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians.” In testimony to the U.N. Human Rights Council, his organization said, “In a few cases, the timing and intensity of the attacks, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.”

Also in the “no-spin zone,” Mr. Roth referred to a “20 page report” that he said his organization had put out on Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel, blaming a New York Sun editor for missing the report as a result of not having looked at the Human Rights Watch Web site recently. In fact, a Human Rights Watch spokeswoman has since acknowledged that Mr. Roth was mistaken, and no such 20-page report existed.

Mr. Roth bragged on “The O’Reilly Factor,” “we know how to cut through lies.” It’s training that might be useful for Human Rights Watch’s board and donors in dealing with Mr. Roth. Some of them are starting to wise up. Mortimer Zuckerman, whose charitable trust is listed in the 2005 Human Rights Watch annual report as having given between $25,000 and $99,999 to Human Rights Watch, told us he thought Human Rights Watch’s treatment of Israel’s actions in Lebanon was an “outrage.” “Human Rights Watch has lost all moral credibility,” he said.

Don’t expect a similar recognition anytime soon from the quasigovernmental European foundations that are a big source of Human Rights Watch’s funding. Or from the chairman and two members of the Human Rights Watch “Middle East Advisory Committee,” Columbia professors Gary Sick, Lisa Anderson, and Jean-Francois Seznec, who accepted a free trip to Saudi Arabia from the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, a junket so ethically dubious that the Columbia journalism school faculty voted not to send anyone. Mr. Roth and Human Rights Watch may be able to fool some of the people all of the time, as Lincoln once said. But it hasn’t been able to fool all of the people. The leadership of the American Jewish community has long since figured out Human Rights Watch’s game. Its founder, Robert Bernstein, as previously noted here, has been telling his friends of his private agonies over the behavior of the organization he helped bring to life. And when the history of this period is written, the record will show that during the war against Israel and the Jewish people, Human Rights Watch and Kenneth Roth joined in the effort to demonize the Jewish state at a time when righteous individuals were trying to defend it.

August 11, 2006

NGO WATCH: NGOs in the Lebanon War – Update 3: August 7, 2006

Filed under: Mellemøsten, Organisationer — limewoody @ 9:53 pm

Covering July 12 through August 6
[For annotated text ]

See Archive of Lebanon Reports
Amnesty International – 10
B’Tselem – 1
Christian Aid – 6
EuroMed – 1
Human Rights Watch – 19
ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) – 1
International Commission of Jurists – 1
International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) – 4
Medecins Sans Frontieres – 2
Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) – 1
Oxfam – 8
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel – 1
PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network – 2
War on Want – 1
World Vision International – 5
Total: 72 entries
Common themes in the NGO statements include:

Accusations of “disproportionate force” by Israel, with no explanation of
what would comprise a proportionate response to Hezbollah terror and missile

Judgements and claims regarding “military targets” in the context of
asymmetric warfare that most humanitarian and human rights NGOs are not
equipped to make;

Condemnation of Israel’s targeting of bridges, major roads and the Beirut
Airport as “collective punishment,” despite the clear military rationale of
sealing off air and sea ports, roads and other such targets to prevent the
re-supply of arms from Syria and Iran.

Political lobbying such as sending letters to politicians demanding that
pressure be brought to bear on Israel;

Little mention that Hezbollah’s concrete reinforced military headquarters
are located under buildings in southern Beirut, and that the positioning of
military/guerrilla installations in residential areas is considered a war
crime, as defined by Protocol I (1977) to the Geneva Convention, article
51(7), relating to human shields. Hezbollah also stores and launches
missiles from civilian villages in southern Lebanon, but NGOs dismiss or
ignore the human rights implications of Hezbollah’s use of human shields.

Minimal references to the role of Iran and Syria in providing missiles and
support to Hizbollah;

Few NGOs call for the release of the two abducted Israeli soldiers, and
there is little attention given to Israeli IDPs (internally displaced
persons) numbering at least 300,000, or to Israeli victims of Hezbollah
rocket attacks.

Amnesty International
July 13 Press Release – “Israel / Lebanon: End immediately attacks against
Both Israel and Hezbollah’s actions described as “war crimes.”
Israel must “respect the principle of proportionality when targeting any
military objectives or civilian objectives”, but no standard provided for
determining proportionality in the wake of Hezbollah’s attacks.
“Israel must put an immediate end to attacks against civilians”, falsely
asserting that Israel deliberately targets civilians, in a manner similar to
IDF strikes on infrastructure targets constitute “collective punishment.”
Also says “Hezbollah must stop launching attacks against Israeli civilians.”
July 17 Press Release “GAERC: Commit to review EU [association] agreement
with Israel in light of Human Rights
“This review is necessary not just because Israel is systematically and
deliberately breaching international law by targeting civilians…”
Also calls on the Lebanese government and Hezbollah to “end attacks against
July 18 Press Release “UN: Security Council must adopt urgent measures to
protect civilians in Israel-Lebanon conflict”
Demands that UN Security Council suspend “all military supplies to Israel
and Hezbollah until each party institutes the appropriate measures to ensure
that civilians and civilian objects are not attacked.” Promotes moral
equivalence between a democratic-country acting in self-defense and a
terrorist organization.
Press Release July 26 Israel/Lebanon Israel and Hizbullah Must Spare
“The death and injury toll and the massive damage to civilian objects
indicate that some attacks may have been indiscriminate or
“It is unclear whether any of Hizbullah’s rocket and missile strikes have
been aimed at military targets. If they were, they would be indiscriminate
attacks, given the nature of the weapons used.”
“Reports that Israel has warned all civilians living south of the Litani
River to leave suggest it is distorting the concept of effective warning. If
anything, such warning to over 400,000 people seems to result in spreading
panic among the civilian population, rather than enhancing their safety.”
“Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians have fled northern Israel for fear
of further rocket and missile attacks by Hizbullah.”
“Hizbullah reportedly have been launching rockets and missiles from
residential areas, thereby endangering civilians in the vicinity. Their
fighters are also said to be sheltering among civilians in villages and
cities, and Israeli officials claim that Hizbullah are storing weapons in
civilian homes.”
“Hizbullah’s use of Katyusha rockets and longer-range missiles against
Israeli cities and towns violates the prohibition on indiscriminate attack,
even when they appear to have been directed at legitimate targets, such as
military bases”
“There are reports that Israel has used incendiary weapons, such as white
phosphorous shells, in attacks in Lebanon.”
AI letter to Foreign Ministers, July 26
“The international community must ensure that Hizbullah and Israel comply
with international humanitarian law.”
Press Release, July 27, Lebanon/Israel: Urgent need for arms embargo on
Israel and Hizbullah
“Governments supplying Israel and Hizbullah with arms and military equipment
are fuelling their capacity to commit war crimes. All governments should
impose an arms embargo on both sides and refuse permission for their
territories to be used for the transfer of arms and military equipment.”
Press Release response to Qana, July 31
“It is utterly shameful that governments who have influence over Israel and
Hizbollah and who could help end this crisis, continue to prioritize
political and military interests over innocent lives of civilians.”
“Both sides to this conflict have shown a blatant disregard for the laws of
war and civilians on both sides are paying the price as war crimes abound,
Amnesty International said today.”
Press Release August 3, Israel: IDF inquiry into Qana a whitewash
“The investigation carried out by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) into the
air-missile attack on Qana was clearly inadequate and reinforces the need
for the urgent dispatch of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding
Commission (IHFFC).”
Media Advisory, August 2: Amnesty International missions to Lebanon and
“An Amnesty International mission is currently in Lebanon to carry out
research into human rights violations and breaches of international
humanitarian law during the ongoing conflict between Israel and
Hizbullah…Another Amnesty International mission is going to Israel… to
investigate the impact of Hizbullah rocket attacks on civilians in northern
Israel and to obtain information from the Israeli authorities about
investigations they have announced into some of the killings by their forces
in south Lebanon.”
Media Advisory, 4 August: AI to call for immediate ceasefire in mass, global
“Governments must stop fuelling this suffering by imposing an arms embargo
against Israel and Hizbullah and refusing to allow the transfer of weapons
to or through their territories.”

July 23 Press Release “Lebanon and Northern Israel”
“B’Tselem’s mandate is limited to human rights in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip. The organization is therefore not documenting human rights violations
in this conflict.”
“However….Over the past week, Israel has killed hundreds of Lebanese
civilians in its attacks against targets in Lebanon . There is a concern
that at least some of them were disproportionate attacks, which constitute
war crimes”
Acknowledges that “Hezbollah has been launching numerous deliberate attacks
against Israeli civilians in the north of the country, which have killed and
injured many civilians.”

Christian Aid
July 13 News Report “Middle East in crisis”
Legitimizes Hezbollah’s attack by stating that it was “an attempt to
negotiate the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails.”
No mention that the three Lebanese prisoners held by Israel are terrorists,
one of whom, Samir Kuntar, was convicted by an Israeli court in 1979 of two
murders, including the beating to death of a four year old girl.
“Days of dread and despair long-lived by the Lebanese during the war seem to
have returned.” No mention of emotions of Israelis under rocket fire. As in
other recent CA reports, the text was emotive so as to direct the reader to
a clear political agenda.
One sentence about attacks on Israel: Hezbollah “fired rockets from Lebanon
today, killing one Israeli civilian and injuring 29 others.”
July 18 Press Statement “Middle East in crisis”
“The stability of the entire region is under threat as Israel responds to
the kidnapping of two of its soldiers by the militant group Hezbollah with
aerial attacks on Lebanon. Hezbollah has retaliated with rocket attacks on
Israeli towns.” Israel is responsible for destabilizing the Middle East and
Hezbollah’s actions are portrayed as “retaliation” rather than unprovoked
One of CA’s partner NGOs, Ittijah, said that “from a peaceful and secure
country, Lebanon has become a shattered country”, but did not illicit any
such sympathy for the citizens of northern Israeli towns who have been under
regular rocket fire since July 12.
Statement recognizes that “civilians in northern Israel are also spending
much of the day in air-raid shelters to avoid Hezbollah rockets.”
July 20 Emergency Appeal
“‘We hope that we can help keep a lid on this crisis. But of course, the
longer this military campaign continues the worse the situation will get.”
No mention of Hezbollah, only Israel’s “constant attack and … the
beginnings of a potential humanitarian crisis.”
July 21 Press Release
CA joins with Save the Children, Oxfam, Islamic Relief, CAFOD, World Vision
and CARE International UK to “urgently call for an immediate ceasefire by
all sides.” This opens the door to further attacks by Hezbollah.
News Item, July 28, “Please show the reality say Lebanon’s affected”
“Despite being physically and morally exhausted from the scale of
destruction facing Lebanon, those working with MS [Mouvement Social] have
chosen to stay and help those most in need.”
“‘The war should end because it is not the solution – it never was the
solution,’ said [Pascale] Kolakez, [a psychologist]. ‘People and children
are dying, families are dying…'”
Press Release, August 3, “Christian Aid calls for ceasefire in Middle East
at press conference in Beirut”
“Christian Aid has again called for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon in an
attempt to avert a humanitarian crisis.”
“‘Tony Blair’s policy is having the opposite effect that he wants it to. He
is driving moderate, normal people into the arms of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is
feeding people who have been displaced in Beirut.'”

Statement 24 July, Human Rights Organisations Appalled by Escalating
Violations against Civilians
“On 12 July 2006 Hizbullah forces engaged Israeli forces capturing two
Israeli soldiers….While Israeli forces have attacked Hizbullah they have
also deliberately targeted Lebanese infrastructure objects…These attacks
constitute collective punishment and are a serious violation of
international law.”
“Hizbullah also launched hundreds of missiles in numerous deliberate attacks
against Israeli civilians…These attacks constitute a serious violation of
international humanitarian law.”
“The EMHRN further calls: For an end to the Israeli occupation; Upon all
parties to respect the sovereignty of the State of Lebanon.”
Euromed Non-Governmental Platform (an NGO network working with the
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership)
July 13, Declaration about the situation in Lebanon and Gaza
“Detainees and captured persons should be liberated, and we condemn and
reject all acts of violence against civil populations.”
“The Euro-Mediterranean Non-Governmental Platform strongly condemns the
Israeli aggressions which are a striking violation of International Law.”
“Nothing could justify the collective punishment inflicted to the
Palestinian people or the destruction of the Beirut airport’s tracks or
EU “should intervene quickly and firmly in order to stop the Israeli
government’s military operations which are threatening the entire region
with its dangerous escalation.”

Human Rights Watch
July 13 Press Release “Lebanon/Israel: Do Not Attack Civilians”
“Israeli military officials and Hezbollah leaders traded threats to attack
areas populated by civilians,” erasing the facts and context.
July 17 Report “Questions and Answers on Hostilities Between Israel and
Hezbollah” (See detailed analysis of selective and distorted application of
International Law in this HRW publication, by Dr. Avi Bell.)
Charges that IDF actions “open the door to deliberately attacking civilians
and civilian objects themselves – in short to terrorism,” and that Israel’s
“destruction seems aimed more at…preventing [the civilian population] from
fleeing the fighting and seeking safety,”
Also states that the IDF’s arguments for bombing Beirut airport “are at best
debatable”, which follows a noticeable trend in which HRW makes assertions
that require a level of military expertise that it does not possess and is
not part of its mandate.
States in a number of places that it “sets out these rules before it has
been able to conduct extensive on-the-ground investigation,” demonstrating
the primacy of its political agenda over accurate analysis.
Discusses the use of human shields but does not state that Hezbollah has
contravened this precept of international law by placing its headquarters in
a residential area of southern Beirut
July 17 Press Release “Israel: Investigate Attack on Civilians in Lebanon”
Calls on Israel to investigate the mistaken targeting of a civilian convoy
by the IDF without including the context of the response to missile attacks,
and despite the IDF’s expression of regret for the casualties.
July 18 Statement “Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to
Kill Civilians”
Hezbollah rocket attacks are “at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian
areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians.” “Attacking civilian
areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian
law and can constitute a war crime…Hezbollah’s use of warheads that have
limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes
the crime worse.”
This statement specifically addresses war crimes by a terror group but is
ignored in the numerous other HRW statements that condemn Israel for
“disproportional force,” “war crimes” and “violations of international law”,
revealing the NGO’s core bias.
July 20 Statement, “Lebanon/Israel: Israel Must Provide Safe Passage to
Relief Convoys”
“If attacks are hitting relief and medical convoys, the implications for
civilian protection are serious. Such attacks would indicate that Israel is
failing to take appropriate precautions to avoid targeting civilian
objects.” Another statement without context.
July 21 Press Release, “Lebanon/Israel: Israel must allow civilians safe
“Israel should warn people of attacks, but those warnings can’t be used to
justify harming civilians who remain,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of
the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch
Cites IDF statement that describes Hezbollah’s use of civilians as human
shields in Southern Lebanon, but does not explore the implications.
Letter, July 22, to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
“We urge you to request that Israel immediately re-examine its military
practices to ensure that they strictly comply with the requirements of
international humanitarian law.”
July 24 Press Release, Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon
(Cluster Munitions are not prohibited by international law, and have only
been banned by Belgium. Norway has committed to a moratorium on their use.)
Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies Director for HRW, gives Interview to Democracy
Now, July 26
“The United Nations has estimated that there is up to 500,000 displaced
people in Lebanon today. That’s almost a quarter of the population of
“This is totally different from the kind of bombardment that we saw in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Certainly we documented a lot of civilian casualties in
Iraq and Afghanistan when we worked there, but at least in most of those
cases we were able to determine what the specific military objective was
that the U.S. hoped to achieve by these military strikes.”
Letter, July 26, to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad on the Conflict in
“Syria should urge Hezbollah forces not to undertake attacks that violate
international humanitarian law.”
“Targeting civilians deliberately or indiscriminately is unlawful in all
circumstances, and Hezbollah must take all feasible precautions to avoid
civilian harm by not attacking military objects if the anticipated harm to
civilians will be disproportionate to the expected military advantage…
Launching attacks in violation of these rules is often a war crime.”
“We hope that you will use your influence with Hezbollah to ensure that its
means and methods of attack can and do discriminate between military and
civilian targets and objects.”
Letter, July 26, to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Almost identical letter to the one sent to Bashar al-Assad.
“Iran should call for an end to Hezbollah’s repeated attacks on
civilian-populated areas of northern Israel with rockets whose inability to
be targeted makes them inherently indiscriminate and therefore unlawful”
“Iran should seek assurances from Hezbollah that the organization is not
locating weapons, launching attacks, and stationing combatants in civilian
structures or in or close to civilian populated areas.”
Press Release, July 30, Israel responsible for Qana.
“Responsibility for the Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 54 civilians
sheltering in a home in the Lebanese village of Qana rests squarely with the
Israeli military, Human Rights Watch said today. It is the latest product of
an indiscriminate bombing campaign that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have
waged in Lebanon over the past 18 days, leaving an estimated 750 people
dead, the vast majority of them civilians.”
“Even if the IDF claims of Hezbollah rocket fire from the Qana area are
correct, Israel remains under a strict obligation to direct attacks at only
military objectives…To date, Israel has not presented any evidence to show
that Hezbollah was present in or around the building that was struck at the
time of the attack.”
HRW Op-Ed July 31 by Peter Bouckaert, originally published in the Guardian
“Endless communiqués insist that Israel’s behaviour is “proportionate”. Let
us be blunt: those claims are fantasy, as the carnage in Qana has shown once
“Although mistakes are made in the fog of fighting, the pattern of Israeli
behavior in southern Lebanon suggests a deliberate policy.”
“Israel blames Hezbollah for the massive civilian toll in Lebanon, claiming
that they are hiding the rockets they are firing at Israel, in civilian
homes, and that they are fighting from within the civilian population. This
is a convenient excuse.”
“Our investigations have not found evidence to support Israeli allegations
that Hezbollah are intentionally endangering Lebanese civilians by
systematically fighting from civilian positions. We can’t exclude the
possibility that it happens – but time and again villagers tell us that
Hezbollah is fighting from the hills.”
Press Release, August 2 “Qana Death Toll at 28: International Inquiry Needed
into Israeli Air Strike”
“A preliminary Human Rights Watch investigation into the July 30 Israeli air
strike in Qana found that 28 people are confirmed dead thus far, among them
16 children, Human Rights Watch said today.”
“Again and again, Israeli forces have fired at dubious military targets with
a high civilian cost,” [Sarah Leah] Whitson said. “Their brazen behavior has
costs hundreds of lives.”
Press Release, August 3, “End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians: Some
Israeli Attacks Amount to War Crimes”
“The pattern of [Israeli] attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by
Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot
be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah
practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.”
“Hezbollah fighters must not hide behind civilians – that’s an absolute –
but the image that Israel has promoted of such shielding as the cause of so
high a civilian death toll is wrong,” [Kenneth] Roth said.”
“Hezbollah has occasionally stored weapons in or near civilian homes and
placed rocket launchers within populated areas or near United Nations
Report, August 2006, Fatal Strikes – Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against
Civilians in Lebanon
“In some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a
military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli
forces deliberately targeted civilians.”
“The [HRW] team focused on interviewing witnesses and survivors of Israeli
strikes inside Lebanon, gathering detailed testimony from these individuals,
and carefully corroborating and cross-checking their accounts with
international aid workers, international and local journalists, medical
professionals, local officials, as well as information from the IDF.”
Press Release, August 3, “IDF Fails to Explain Qana Bombing Independent
International Inquiry Required”
“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inquiry into the July 30 killing of at
least 28 civilians in Qana is incomplete and legally misguided, and
contradicts eyewitness testimony, Human Rights Watch said today. The
findings underline the need for an independent international inquiry into
what took place.”
Op-Ed by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, August 4,
“Fog of War Is No Cover for Causing Civilian Deaths”, Forward (New York)
“With hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed in three weeks of bombing,
Israel clearly isn’t doing enough to avoid such loss of life.”
“In many cases, Lebanese civilians who have survived air strikes on their
homes or vehicles have told Human Rights Watch that Hezbollah was nowhere
nearby when the attack took place.”
Press Release, August 5: Hezbollah Must End Attacks on Civilians – Rocket
Attacks on Civilians in Israel Are War Crimes
“Hezbollah must immediately stop firing rockets into civilian areas in
Israel, Human Rights Watch said today. Entering the fourth week of attacks,
such rockets have claimed 30 civilian lives, including six children, and
wounded hundreds more.”
“Lobbing rockets blindly into civilian areas is without doubt a war crime,”
said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Nothing can
justify this assault on the most fundamental standards for sparing civilians
the hazards of war.”

ICAHD (funded by EU)
“We recognize Israel’s ever-repressive Occupation as the main source of
conflict and instability in our region…Had Israel taken the many
opportunities it had to secure a just peace, the peoples of the region would
never have reached this point of despair and futile violence.”
“Israel seeks to break the will of the Palestinian people and destroy any
resistance to the imposition of an apartheid regime.”
“Hezbollah and Israel share equally in the deaths of hundreds of innocent
civilians in both Lebanon and Israel.”
International Commission of Jurists (Geneva)
Press Release July 2, “Lebanon and Gaza Strip: UN to take immediate action
to protect civilians”
ICJ called on the UN “to take immediate action to protect the civilian
population in Lebanon, as well as in the Gaza Strip” but did not call for
similar protection for Israeli civilians.
ICJ is “appalled by the impact of the ruthless military operations.”
“Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself against hostage-taking and
the launching of rockets by the Hezbollah over Israeli territory”, but
qualified this by claiming that Israel’s response constitutes “collective
“[T]he bombing of undefended towns, villages and dwellings that are not
military objectives…constitute war crimes” distorting current events and
international law for ICJ’s political agenda.

International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), France-based NGO
with a budget of over EUR3m in 2004
July 17 Press Release “Ensure security for civilians!”
Acknowledges that it was the Hezbollah attack which initiated the crisis and
“severely condemns the rocket firing by Hezbollah against Israeli civilian
“The FIDH considers that the attacks carried out by the Israeli forces …
are disproportionate and constitute a collective punishment ” FIDH does not
define a “proportional” response.
“The FIDH calls upon the Israeli government to urgently put an end to the
military operations carried out in Lebanon.” Despite condemning Hezbollah
rocket fire, FIDH denies Israel’s right to take effective military action to
defend itself.
July 20 Press Release, “The Lack of Response and the Guilt of the
International Community”
FIDH “determinedly denounces the unrelenting Israeli military attacks on
Lebanon over the past eight days. In addition, the FIDH firmly condemns
Hezbollah’s firing of rockets against the Israeli civilian population and
the use by its militias of arms prohibited under international humanitarian
law. Both sides…are evidently targeting civilians.”
The Israeli Army has perpetrated several types of attacks,…[which ] are to
be considered, at the very least, as war crimes.”
Press Release, 1 August, Lebanon/ Israel: prosecute war crimes in France
“As the argument goes, these aggressions against Israeli cities also amount
to war crimes…We are aware of the despicable game played by Syria and
Iran, both countries in which their own people live under intolerable
regimes, yet which first condemn the wrongs of others.”
“Today, in Lebanon and Gaza, the actions of the Israeli government have led
it to attack the civil population indiscriminately, and in a large-scale
“Nothing can justify the losses inflicted on the civil populations, which
are not collateral effects of legitimate actions of war but are instead a
deliberate and wilful punishment on the collective population, including
murder. These are war crimes of exceptional gravity, knowingly organized by
a democratic government.”

Letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, July 25
“While the hostilities continue, we must ask that our government firmly and
fully communicate the necessity that all parties–Lebanese, Israeli and
Palestinian–protect civilians and respect international law.”

Medecins Sans Frontieres
Press Release, August 2
MSF has around 30 international staff working in areas in Lebanon that are
severely affected by the conflict. The emphasis in MSF’s activities is on
supporting Lebanese health workers, setting up additional health posts and
mobile clinics where necessary, and distributing basic materials (shelter,
hygiene kits, cooking utensils, baby powder milk) to displaced families.
Press Release July 28, “Access to southern regions of Lebanon difficult due
to shelling”
Access to the south of Lebanon remains difficult because shelling and
bombardments have destroyed roads and buildings. MSF sent three vans
carrying drugs from Beirut to Tyre on July 26. An MSF surgeon and medical
team are working in the town. More medical and surgical equipment is needed,
as well as food.
MSF sent 80 tonnes of relief goods such as tents, blankets and cooking
equipment to Beirut by ferry and started to distribute them in Aley and Beit
Ed Dine districts on July 26.

MIFTAH, Palestinian political NGO funded by the EU and the Ford Foundation
July 18 press release
IDF is “targeting Lebanese civilian populations.” “[I]n retaliation,
Hezbollah has fired dozens of Katusha rockets into northern Israel,”
distorting the history that Hezbollah has been firing rockets at northern
Israel since July 12.
July 17 Editorial
IDF operation described as “relentless brutality against innocent civilians
in both Lebanon and Palestine.”
“[T]he underlying cause of today’s crisis in Lebanon is a premeditated
Israeli plan to reshuffle the strategic regional equation in its favour.”
July 23 Letter to US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice
“We urge you to hold Israel responsible for its brutality against the people
of Lebanon, for its excessive use of force against civilians, for its
continued violation of the most basic and fundamental principles of
international and humanitarian law”
Press Release, August 1, “MIFTAH condemns Israeli massacre in Qana”
“(MIFTAH) strongly condemns the killing of 67 Lebanese civilians in an
Israeli air raid on the South Lebanon village of Qana.” (Fatalities from the
Qana incident currently stands at 28)
“The clear targeting of a building housing civilians, mostly children,
seeking shelter from the incessant Israeli bombings is an abhorrent act that
must…urge…international pressure to hold Israel responsible for its war
crimes being perpetrated in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories,
particularly the Gaza Strip.”
MIFTAH Op-Ed, August 2, “Children of a Lesser God”
“In both southern Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip, this policy has been
brutally exemplified, Israel’s expansionist and destructive policies leaving
a blood-stained trail across both countries.”
“But as has become a kind of sordid ritual of the Israeli army, the bomb was
dropped at one in the morning while the babies slept, their mothers and
fathers huddled around them.”
“The bomb on Qana or the 31 children killed in the [Gaza] Strip in one month
are not incidental casualties. Rather, they are part of a systematic policy
carried out by the Israeli military establishment, approved by the highest
political echelons, aimed at squashing, silencing and obliterating any voice
of rebellion, anyone who dares stand up to the beast.”
“It is clear by its bombing in Qana and in the Gaza Strip that Israel feels
no obligation to stop its targeting of civilians on its own.”

Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA), international NGO funded by the Norwegian
Government with a total budget of $117.158m in 2004,
July 17 statement
“Hezbollah launched rockets into Haifa…in retaliation for Israel’s furious
bombardment of southern Beirut.” Distorts fact of Hezbollah aggression.
Press Release, July 19 “Oxfam International calls for urgent action on the
worsening humanitarian crisis in the Middle East”
“[W]hile any state has the right to defend itself against armed attacks,
Israel’s destruction of civilian infrastructure including bridges, roads and
the airport in Beirut is unacceptable”, ignoring the military necessity of
preventing Hezbollah from being re-supplied with arms.
July 2 Joint NGO Statement
Oxfam was a signatory to the July 21 joint NGO statement calling on UK Prime
Minister Tony Blair to demand a cease-fire, see Christian Aid above.
Press Release, July 26
“The US and UK express humanitarian concern while their ‘foot dragging
diplomacy’ allows the killing to continue. For the sake of commonsense and
common humanity an immediate ceasefire in the region in needed,” said
Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s Director.
Bush and Blair talks, July 28
“Waiting for one side to achieve its military objective before calling for
an immediate ceasefire is not the way forward,” said Phil Bloomer, Oxfam’s
Director of Campaigns and Policy.
Oxfam calls for UNSC resolution for ceasefire also, July 28
“Indiscriminate attacks from both sides, and for civilians there is no end
in sight to the daily bloodshed and violence,” said Oxfam’s Advocacy
Director Bernice Romero.
Take Action (Undated)
“The situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate rapidly. Hundreds
have already died and an estimated 500,000 people have had to flee their
homes and have been forced to shelter in buildings with little or no help to
meet their basic needs.”
Personal Report of a worker for one of Oxfam’s partners, July 30
“The Israeli army air raided the village of Qana and cold bloodedly
bombarded a building occupied by civilians, most of whom were displaced
women or children.”
“There is no bravery in air raiding civilians, destroying an entire country,
displacing its residents and inciting hatred amongst its people, only a
disproportionate and cruel use of force and violence.”
July 31 Press Release
Oxfam called on EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow to agree
to an unambiguous call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East in the
run up to this week’s expected UN Security Council resolution.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Press Release, July 25, “Stop Killing Civilians”
“The fact that the IDF’s actions exact a high toll both in lives and on
civilian infrastructure evinces that Israel’s response is not proportional.”
“The damage to infrastructure, homes and medical establishments is
considered to be a grave violation of international law and the
international humanitarian law.”
“We also share the pain and fear in light of the tragic results of
Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on Israel and its harmful effects on Israeli
citizens. We call for a cease-fire that will also put an end to the firing
of Kassam Rockets and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.”

Press Release, 17 July – “A statement issued by Palestinian civil society
organizations condemning Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza and Lebanon”
“On the Lebanese front, the barbaric Israeli aggression shows the complete
picture, since the goals of that aggression are embedded in the conditions
and dictates that the Israeli government wants to impose on the region so
that it succumbs to Israeli-American hegemony.”
An Open Letter to Condoleezza Rice, 24 July
“The force being used by the Israeli troops …is inhuman and savage, aiming
at exterminating as many people as possible. This brings to our minds the
force used by Serbia in Bosnia as well as the crimes against humanity
committed in the Second World War.”

July 19 statement and July 21 statement
“[A]s the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and Hezbollah rocket attacks on
Israel continue, reaching those in need is an enormous humanitarian
In both statements UNICEF refrained from making biased politicized comments
about the conflict.
War on Want
Press Release, 3 August “Tens of thousands call for immediate ceasefire”
“An urgent petition signed by over 35,000 people and backed by 16 leading
agencies, including War on Want, was handed in today to Tony Blair, pressing
him to call for an immediate ceasefire in the current Middle East crisis.”

World Vision International
July 14 report
Israeli casualties mentioned, but the context of Hezbollah aggression
July 20 statement
“In the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, more than 200
civilians have died and over 400 have been injured – approximately 30% of
whom are children (Source: United Nations Children’s Fund).”
“Both Israel and Lebanon are signatories to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child that states they have an obligation under international
humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflict.”
World Vision is the only NGO to acknowledge that the Lebanese government
(which includes members of Hezbollah) has responsibilities in the conflict.
World Vision Statement, July 19
“World Vision warns that the violence and destruction of infrastructure in
Lebanon and Palestine means children there are facing potential outbreaks of
disease, increased levels of malnutrition.”
WVI Statement, August 2: “Lebanon relief efforts eclipsed by mounting
“To date, the Lebanon office has assisted nearly 30,000 displaced now living
in schools, churches, mosques, houses, parking garages and other structures
located within seven of nine Area Development Projects (ADPs) in southern,
central and northern regions of the country.”
Press Release, August 4, “World Vision advocates for urgent ceasefire”
“World Vision and four international NGOs yesterday alerted foreign press in
Beirut of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Lebanon. They called
for an immediate cease-fire to allow unrestricted humanitarian access to
devastated areas and displaced civilians within the war-torn country.”
“We have 121 staff in Lebanon, yet our resources are not nearly enough to
respond to this crisis”…the news conference…was jointly convened by
Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children, Islamic Relief and World Vision.”
“The international community must surely understand that all children are
equal and that they are not responsible for this conflict. We therefore are
insisting that the rights of the children of Lebanon be respected and

July 20, 2006


Filed under: Israel, Mellemøsten, Organisationer, Western civilisation — limewoody @ 9:55 pm

Report from SWC Paris Office

The Middle East crisis is exploding this summer while European governments are in vacation mode.

On 1 July, the European Union Presidency rotated to an unprepared Finland, leaving the bureaucracy in Brussels to fill the vacuum with its traditional bias against Israel. EU Foreign Affairs Czar, Javier Solana, and Heads of State at the G-8 Summit continuously repeat the politically correct mantra of “Israeli disproportionality” in its “aggression on Lebanon.”

Some European diplomats, particularly in the corridors, acknowledge Hamas and Hezbollah unprovoked missile aggression on Israel. Official positions, however, are governed by oil, trade, electoral votes and fear of terrorism at home. The consequent policy was clear in Europe’s appeasement of the Iranian nuclear threat.

AP Photo: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, left, greets France’s Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to the government house, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon Monday, July 17, 2006. Villepin arrived in Beirut Monday on a mission to “express solidarity with the Lebanon government and people.”

The European press, particularly in the UK, Scandinavia, Italy and Spain, has been particularly anti-Israel. Media in France which views itself as the “midwife” of French-speaking Lebanon, have expressed self-righteous indignation at Israeli counter-measures.

No-one doubts the forthcoming Middle East blowback upon Arab-Jewish relations across the continent, as Muslim radicalism and antisemitic action follow the level of the Arab-Israel conflict. Authorities in France are especially concerned at a replay or political hijacking of last fall’s race riots that left thousands of burning cars and vandalized property across the country.

Jewish communities have organized Israel solidarity rallies. The Wiesenthal Centre in Paris, on July 9, co-partnered a gathering of over 1,000 activists to “Free Gilad Shalit” – the soldier kidnapped by Hamas who is also a French citizen. The main speaker was Richard Odier, president of the Centre Simon Wiesenthal – France. Police restrained pro-Palestinian counter-demonstrators bent on attacking the rally.

•In France, Muslim organizations are poised to test their power. This is in the context of next spring’s Presidential elections. Fundamentalist spokesmen speak of getting out the 4 million North African electorate to redress the balance of the 400,000 Jewish voters.

•In Britain, though the Muslim community comprises both Arabs and Pakistanis, the latter currently concerned with the terrorism crisis in India, there is solidarity in pressing the government to accept that last summer’s terrorist attacks were due to London’s “pro-Israeli policy.” Radical Islamist spokesmen blatantly use the fear factor of renewed terrorism to demand anti-Israeli measures.

•In Germany, the predominantly Kurdish and Turkish communities have also been radicalized on propaganda claiming “American Jewish control of the war in Iraq.”

•In Belgium, the leader of the Arab European League, an Islamist political party in Belgium, has announced his “return home to Lebanon to add a Belgian Jihad against the Zionists.”

•In the UK and in Scandinavia, campaigns to boycott Israel grow apace.

Though antisemitism is clearly not a policy of any European government,
Jews in Europe feel their vulnerability. Many fear that neo-appeasement, in the Middle East and at home, will encourage terrorist attacks, first against Jewish targets and then to a broader “Intifada” across the continent.

It is often forgotten that what begins with the Jews is an alarm bell for society.

On the first page of Spain’s EL PAIS daily of 16 July, two headlines ran parallel:
“Spanish PM Zapatero calls on Israel to cease fire and respect human rights in Lebanon”
“Islamist terror groups increase recruitment in Spain”

Left: Caricature that appeared in the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet on 10 July 2006 showing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a commandant of a death camp. The sign shown resembles the sign found in Buchenwald concentration camp – “Jedem Das Seine[m]” which means: “Each one gets what he deserves” is written above the gate. Outside the barracks lie dead Arabs that the Nazi Olmert (and Israel) have exterminated.

Jewish communities are especially apprehensive at the dangers awaiting the post-summer vacations and their security for the forthcoming High Holiday worship. Even the most assimilated Jews are realizing that the old mantra of “keeping the Middle East out of Europe” is a non-starter.

The Middle East is very much in Europe. A dramatic expression – born in
France two years ago – is gaining currency among Jews in Europe: “la valise ou le cercueil” – “the suitcase or the coffin.”

This will not be a tranquil summer and 2006 does not presage good tidings for the Jews of Europe.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris

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June 30, 2006

Human Rights and Human Rights or We are all equal But…….

Filed under: Islam, Militær, Organisationer, Terror, UN, USA, Western civilisation — limewoody @ 9:12 am

May, Clifford D. Print this page Email this page
Human Rights and Wrongs

By Clifford D. May
Scripps Howard News Service
June 29, 2006

Human Rights and Wrongs A few days ago, two American soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca of Houston, Texas, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras, Oregon, were taken prisoner in Iraq. They were brutally tortured, and so severely mutilated that their faces were unrecognizable. They were tied together with a bomb between their legs – a booby trap intended to kill whoever tried to recover their remains for burial.Would you regard such actions as serious violations of the laws of war and fundamental human rights? It is not clear that the wealthiest and most powerful human rights organizations see it that way.

For example, Amnesty International, which claims that its mission is “to protect human rights worldwide,” appears to have nothing to say about the torture and killing of Menchaca and Tucker. As I write this, its website features instead an article on arms control, and another on a “new international treaty to prevent torture and other ill-treatment through a system of regular visits to all detention places.” Evidently, “all detention places” does not include visits to the places in Iraq where al-Qaeda and Baathist forces detain their prisoners – briefly, in most instances.

The homepage of Human Rights Watch suggests that the group’s main concerns at the moment are Indonesia, Burundi and Chad. Regarding Menchaca and Tucker, there is a three-sentence press release noting that “captured combatants must be treated humanely.”

Read the rest:

June 20, 2006

HRW: We can’t contradict IDF findings

Filed under: Islam, Israel, Media, Organisationer, Terror — limewoody @ 6:08 am

 While sticking to its demand for the establishment of an independent inquiry into a blast on a Gaza beach 10 days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians, the Human Rights Watch conceded Monday night for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF's exonerating findings.

On Monday, Maj.-Gen. Meir Klifi – head of the IDF inquiry commission that cleared the IDF of responsibility for the blast – met with Marc Garlasco, a military expert from the HRW who had last week claimed that the blast was caused by an IDF artillery shell. Following the three-hour meeting, described by both sides as cordial and pleasant, Garlasco praised the IDF's professional investigation into the blast, which he said was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach, a possibility also raised by Klifi and his team.

"We came to an agreement with General Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance," Garlasco told The Jerusalem Post following the meeting. While Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire, there were still, Garlasco said, a number of pieces of evidence that the IDF commission did not take into consideration.

The main argument between Klifi and HRW surrounded the timeline of the blast, which the IDF said took between 16:57 and 15:10, at least 10 minutes after artillery fire in the area had stopped. HRW however disputes this claim and basing itself on Palestinian hospital documentation, claims that the explosion actually took place right around the time of the IDF artillery fire.

Meanwhile Monday, The Post learned that the IDF was currently inspecting a second piece of shrapnel doctors had retrieved from one of the Palestinians wounded in the blast and currently being treated at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. A first piece of shrapnel, examined by the IDF as well as by an independent academic institute in Beersheba was found to not have come from a 155 mm shell, the type used in IDF artillery attacks on Kassam launch sites in the Gaza Strip. The second piece of shrapnel, sources said, was currently being examined in an IDF lab.

Garlasco told Klifi during the meeting that he was impressed with the IDF's system of checks and balances concerning its artillery fire in the Gaza Strip and unlike Hamas which specifically targeted civilians in its rocket attacks, the Israelis, he said, invested a great amount of resources and efforts not to harm innocent civilians.

"We do not believe the Israelis were targeting civilians." Garlasco said. "We just want to know if it was an Israeli shell that killed the Palestinians."

Lucy Mair – head of the HRW's Jerusalem office – said Klifi's team had conducted a thorough and professional investigation of the incident and made "a good assessment" when ruling out the possibility that an errant IDF shell had killed the seven Palestinians on the Gaza beach.

'We differ when it comes to other pieces of information from other sources that don't relate to the military strike such as the timing and the type of injuries," Mair explained. "While they [the IDF] made a very good presentation, we still think there are enough unanswered questions that have not been examined by Klifi's team…and that is why we believe there should be an independent investigation."

April 19, 2006


Filed under: Islam, Mellemøsten, Organisationer, Terror — limewoody @ 8:56 am Does power moderate Islamists? That was the question of the moment just a few months ago, following Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections. And on the lips of those who were inclined toward optimism, you heard one word over and over again: garbage. The idea was that once Islamists were responsible for taking out the trash–and providing other mundane social services–they would have to think more like pragmatists and less like jihadists. "[T]he fact is Hamas is now responsible for the school system, the collecting the garbage, the electricity. … I do believe that the burden of that responsibility is going to inevitably have to moderate their behavior," Tom Friedman told NPR. "My hope is that as a consequence of now being responsible for electricity and picking up garbage and basic services to the Palestinian people, that they recognize it's time to moderate their stance," said Barack Obama. Surveying all this, George Will came up with a name for such wishful thinking: the "Garbage Collection Theory of History." He also dryly noted that the God worshipped by Hamas had "not authorized moderation in the name of sanitation." In Amman recently, I met a man whose story illustrates–albeit it in a very small way–why such skepticism may be warranted. Ibrahim Gharaybeh is a 44-year-old writer on Arab politics and former stalwart of the Muslim Brotherhood who has sought to distance himself from the organization. Gharaybeh is no secularist, but he isn't exactly your stereotypical Islamist either: He believes in an Islamism that tends to the social and ethical needs of its people, has no structural objection to Israel's right to exist, and yes, takes seriously the practical issues of governance–that is, issues like garbage collection. For espousing these views, he has earned a cold shoulder from his former Brotherhood peers. Which is why Tom Friedman, Barack Obama, and anyone else who believes that Muslim radicals will happily shift their focus from holy war to waste disposal might want to first consider the career of Ibrahim Gharaybeh. Gharaybeh joined the Brotherhood as a teenager in the 1970s. But he recalls that within a few years he was already troubled by the easy inclination toward political violence within the movement. Jordan's branch of the Brotherhood was unlike Egypt's, which at the time was busy expunging factions that called for an armed campaign against the state. (Among the firebrands cast off in Egypt was a young Ayman Al Zawahiri, now Al Qaeda's second in command.) Urban society in Jordan was overwhelmingly secular, and most mosque worshippers were "either very old or young Brotherhood members like myself," he says. As a result, political Islam was a tightly knit "society within a society." The utopian Islamism teenage Gharaybeh dreamed about would have broken through these cliquey tendencies and remedied Jordan's ills–not by force of arms, but through the irresistible merits of Islamic tradition and values. Since there was little possibility of all this coming about in Jordan, Gharaybeh moved on to Saudi Arabia, where religion has always been more broadly embraced and political parties have always been banned. There he studied at King Abdelaziz University in Jeddah. Among his professors was a stalwart of the Brotherhood from back home: the late Abdullah Azzam, one of Hamas's founding fathers and, by virtue of having mentored Osama Bin Laden, one of Al Qaeda's founding grandfathers. Azzam was renowned for his stemwinding sermons about Palestine, Afghanistan, and global jihad (and to this day, videos of those addresses are considered must-viewing for Islamist militants everywhere). But according to Gharaybeh, there was another side to Azzam that he saved for intellectuals–and for when the camera was turned off. "He was an entirely different person during the time we spent together," Gharaybeh recalls. "He knew his movement needed thinkers and builders, not just fighters." Such was the context in which Gharaybeh resolved to move on to Afghanistan in 1986, where he spent four years. "I wanted to work in the world of the Mujahadeen and the Brotherhood," he says. He became a field researcher for the Saudi-funded Institute for Policy Studies, a Brotherhood think tank run by Egyptian-born Kamal Hilbawy. Gharaybeh describes his daily work back then as follows: "We would prepare studies on the development of general education, schools in villages and rural areas, hospitals, and we would hope that these studies would benefit the government and the institutions that served the Afghan cause. … It was a lot like your book on rebuilding Iraq, but from an Islamic perspective rather than an American perspective." (Gharaybeh was referring to my book The New Iraq, which laid out ideas for reconstructing the country. He had previously written charitably about the book on Al Jazeera's website, and told me that it reminded him of "the kind of thinking I used to do about a new Afghanistan during the jihad against the Soviets.") He adds that throughout his years in Afghanistan, his colleagues and mentors at the institute were primarily concerned with building a viable Islamic economy and state in Afghanistan–that is, the practical matters of governing a country–and had little interest in the Palestinian problem. At this point in the conversation, my own recollection conflicts with his narration. Hilbawy had visited the United States during those years and given speeches to the now-defunct Muslim Arab Youth Association. The talks were largely concerned with promoting jihad and anti-Semitism; and when he spoke of Afghanistan, as I remember, there was a lot of blood and glory, and little about nation building. Gharaybeh nods his head sadly. "I wrote an article at that time," he recalls, "'Truths and Imaginations in the Afghan Cause.' It was bitterly opposed. I wrote that there were many differences between the Mujahadeen, and the problems were political and social and weren't really much about Islam." Palestine, he says, "represented a global and Islamic fancy. … Nobody could talk about something mistaken in the Afghan cause. Not Kamal Hilbawy, not anybody. … You couldn't tell people your opinion and convictions. You might be killed. The movement was like a wall." In 1991, Gharaybeh came back to Jordan and tried out his ideas on a new audience: the Brotherhood in Amman, by now a broad-based political and social movement. "My experiences in Afghanistan gave me a new idea of public works," he recalls, "the role [of the Brotherhood] being to transform the broader society, and not be isolated from it." He says he made the case for a far-reaching agenda "based on tax issues, confronting government corruption, social inclusion, and overall policies of the society and state." On the Palestinian question, he wrote critically of Hamas during the '90s, arguing in several opinion pieces that armed confrontation with Israel was a mistake. "I felt that military operations only lead to destruction and prison, and resorting to [foreign] intelligence agencies and states, and the need for money and training from abroad. And that's what has happened, with Syria and Iran." By 1998, he had earned himself so much resentment within the movement that he felt it best to leave. Today, Gharaybeh writes 50,000 words of freelance prose per month to make a modest living for his family. After distancing himself from the movement ("You do it by simply not participating; you just distance yourself in practice") he faced boycotts from the myriad Brotherhood-controlled civil society institutions and publications. Meanwhile, it took six years before a pro-government newspaper in Jordan, the semi-independent daily Al-Ghad, would publish his work. He competes for space with younger and less knowledgeable reporters in Amman, he says, who win the tacit approval he cannot from Jordan's intelligence services to join a local newspaper's staff. Gharaybeh's plight is the predicament of the independent thinker in polarized societies: After leaving the comfort and safety of a political movement, he finds that its enemies are still his enemies, but its friends are no longer his friends. Eight years later, it ought to be springtime for Gharaybeh. The Muslim Brotherhood now controls a government in Palestine and a sizable parliamentary bloc in Egypt. On the east bank of the Jordan River, the movement has a shot at sweeping municipal elections nationwide this year and gaining considerably in Jordan's parliamentary elections next year. At least in theory, these wins and potential wins present an opportunity for principles of pragmatic Islamist governance to be put into practice. But Gharaybeh remains critical of the movement: "[The Brotherhood] is unable to acknowledge to itself that it won," he says. And his pessimism is understandable. Recent history is riddled with examples of power emboldening, not moderating, Islamists. Small examples include Hezbollah's failure to moderate after taking control of the energy ministry in Lebanon. Large examples include the failure of Islamists to moderate after seizing whole countries, like Afghanistan and Iran. Yet, for some reason, the idea that the mundanities of daily governance will inevitably and necessarily pacify Islamists continues to hold appeal in the West. As the career of Ibrahim Gharaybeh suggests, that view is garbage.

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