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November 4, 2014 3:42 pm

Watchdog: Amnesty International Claims of Israeli ‘War Crimes’ Have No Credibility

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Cover of Amnesty International's report about the IDF. Photo: Screenshot / Haim Schwarczenberg.

"Trigger-Happy:" a recent Amnesty International report attacking the Israeli military. Photo: Screenshot / Haim Schwarczenberg.

As Amnesty International prepares for tomorrow’s release of a report that is expected to excoriate Israel for alleged war crimes committed during the summer 2014 war in Gaza, an influential Israeli monitoring organization is urging skepticism with regard to the claims made in the publication.

“Amnesty, which played a central role in the discredited UN Goldstone report of 2009, routinely minimizes the moral crimes of terrorist organizations, while baselessly alleging Israeli violations of international law,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg, the President of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research and advocacy organization that counters anti-Israel propaganda from the numerous private advocacy groups covering the Palestinian conflict with Israel. “By granting Hamas virtual impunity, Amnesty empowers the terror group and its affiliates to commit more war crimes and atrocities.”

Citing admissions by senior Amnesty officials that their organization is ill-equipped to comment on military matters, NGO Monitor asserted that “Amnesty’s publications related to armed conflicts notably lack credibility. ”

For example, NGO Monitor said, “Amnesty’s Secretary General Salil Shetty acknowledged in a February 10 interview: ‘We are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.’ Yet Amnesty’s admitted lack of military expertise has not stopped the NGO from publishing hundreds of unfounded accusations against Israel’s military, including its most recent report.”

At the height of the most recent clashes in Gaza, the third such Israeli military operation since 2008, Amnesty’s U.S. branch called on the Obama Administration to immediately curb the supply of weapons to Israel.

“It is deeply cynical for the White House to condemn the deaths and injuries of Palestinians, including children, and humanitarian workers, when it knows full well that the Israeli military responsible for such attacks are armed to the teeth with weapons and equipment bankrolled by US taxpayers,” said Amnesty spokesman Brian Wood at the time.

“Amnesty’s claims had no validity when they were first made, without evidence, during the fighting, and they have no more credibility now, despite the façade of ‘research’ and ‘investigations,'” NGO Monitor’s Steinberg concluded.

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