Amnesty has produced anti-Israel propaganda

By Richard Kemp, February 26, 2014
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In Northern Ireland in the ’70s and ’80s I admired Amnesty International even as they heaped criticism on the British security forces of which I was a member. They helped stop a number of real human rights abuses and were often commendably impartial.
Amnesty’s latest report is far from impartial. A piece of naked anti-Israel propaganda, it is a stark reminder of just how far they have lost their way. The cynical timing of the report, published during Israel Apartheid Week, can only have been intended to fuel the demonisation of the Jewish state in schools and on campuses.
There is no attempt to place the actions of the Israeli security forces in context. No mention of the willful orchestration by Palestinian extremists of violent demonstrations to provoke Israeli troops into a response intended to result in death and injury among their own people for propaganda purposes — or even to lure security forces into lethal terrorist attacks. These are criminal actions.
Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s Secretary General, said in an interview only a few days ago: “Amnesty International is not an organisation with expertise on military situations”. This report shows just how true that is.
For example, the glib dismissal of petrol bombs as posing “little or no threat” to the lives of Israeli soldiers. I have seen first-hand how horrifically a petrol bomb can wound a soldier.
Amnesty’s recommendation that the US and EU ban the transfer of crowd control devices and training not only betrays its politicised support for anti-Israel boycotts but is naively counter-productive. Such systems could only help reduce violence.
Instead of using its resources to make a serious contribution towards easing the plight of the Palestinian people, Amnesty has produced a distorted report that will be exploited as a tool to incite even more hatred.

Colonel Richard Kemp is the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan

Last updated: 12:25am, February 27 2014