Sunday, May 22, 2005

Know your enemy - and his friends

I don't like Amnesty International. Here's why. And here. And here.

There are people in my life however that think Amnesty is a great idea. People that feel much the same way I do about Israel.

But if you love Israel, you cannot but loathe Amnesty. Why? Well, apart from the examples above, there's the
academic boycott against Israel by the AUT (= Association of University Teachers) in the UK. Officially a union for university teachers, they are in effect a left wing activist organization. The AUT involves itself directly in many Amnesty campaigns, regards itself as a 100% backer of AI, and the AUT is also deeply involved in the TAN (= Teachers and Academics Network), an integral part of Amnesty.

If you're a Jew, or a supporter of Israel, but you also support Amnesty, you have some strange bedfellows, ones I can't imagine you can tolerate.

Meanwhile, not a word from Amnesty about the very REAL plight of women in EVERY country in the middle-East BUT Israel. For some real depressing news on how bad it can really get for women on this planet, go
here. Don't go to Amnesty. All you'll find there are reports that contain blanket statements:
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

"Palestinian women's suffering has been two-fold: they have borne the brunt of conflict and decades of Israeli occupation and in Palestinian society they are also denied full rights and protection.

"Israel's military machine has chewed up Palestinian women for far too long, while the Palestinians in their turn must now rise to the challenge of properly protecting women's rights."
Chewed up? What is that? Don't have a specific accusation, so we'll come up with "They're making mothers, sisters and wifes of Jew mass murderers stand in line at roadblocks longer than is theoretically necessary"? And check this one (I'm not making this up!):
Additionally, Palestinian women and girls at risk of being killed by their families have often been unable to escape to safety because of blockades and restrictions imposed by the Israeli army.
It is Israel's fault that 'Palestinian' women get honor-killed, because they can't flee from their fathers, brothers and husbands. Of course, where were they going to flee? Well, where else of course but TO JEW-CONTROLLED TERRITORY! WHERE THEY'D BE SAFE!
If 'Palestinian' women hadn't faked emergencies a number of times, subsequently exploding themselves at the best opportunity, perhaps IDF personel would still treat them the way Amnesty would like. The Arabs made that impossible, not the Israeli's.

Amnesty does not state anywhere in its charter: "Israel must be destroyed". And Amnesty was not founded with such an idea present. But these days, many if not all of Amnesty's supporters feel that way, consciously or not. If Amnesty were solely about human rights, then I never would have written this e-mail to an Amnesty supporter:
Hi J,

Recently came across
this article. It's about N-Korea experimenting with gassing people. It's almost too horrible to read, but the people making the claims are serious and credible. There are links to other, similar articles about N-Korea as well.

So I thought back to our discussion about organizations like Amnesty, went to their site. Abu Ghraib (where no one ever died since the US took over) takes the headlines. Other HR offenses, perpetrated by the US or the pro-US government, or by Israel take up half the page. Israeli settler violence must stop. And Israel must stop killing 'Palestinian' women: "Women are paying a high price in the ongoing conflict. Among the thousands of deaths, hundreds of women have been killed by Palestinian armed groups and by Israeli forces."

So I checked when (if ever) Amnesty paid attention to the situation in N-Korea. Last time was last november, article about a family in fear of torture for leaving the country illegally. Last time before that: Half a year earlier.
Hundreds of thousands of people live in Korean Gulags, thousands die every year because of attrition. But Abu Ghraib, where Muslims where HUMILIATED has hardly left the frontpage in the whole year since the 'scandal' became public.

I like the analogy of the star thrower. But Amnesty (and Human Rights Watch is 10x worse) is a star thrower that in its efforts to save a starfish steps on hundreds of crabs and baby turtles.

Amnesty is bad news.
And I feel like that more than ever, now that more and more Israel-haters join the ranks of Amnesty supporters.

4 Comments:

Blogger sirbarrett said...

I'm not an Israel-hater by any means, but I must ask: what do you mean by saying that no one died since the US took over at Abu Ghraib? There have been countless reports of prisoners dying. Perhaps they aren't all confirmed, and perhaps you'd like to entertain the argument that they've all died from natural causes, but I'm curious where you're getting the information to declare that NO ONE ever died at Abu Ghraib since the US took over. Here are some articles that you may choose to review that are of a contrary position:

Ibrahim Al-Nedawy
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3176362

Manadel al-Jamadi
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6988054/

Others
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/10/1417258

11:22 PM  
Blogger D said...

I stand corrected. I checked the links you left, and found two deaths that clearly were not by natural causes. Another case is disputed. And the link to Democracy Now is just hilarious!

Back to my claim: You are right. People HAVE died at Abu Ghraib since the US are in command there, and my claim is false. Now I hate to make this argument, but in this case it holds true: If in over three years all Bush's opponents can come up with is the Abu Ghraib 'torture' scandal, plus these documented unnatural deaths (which to me are clearly the exception that confirms the rule) then my argument hold true: The Americans are on higher, much higher moral plane than the Iraqi's were under Hussein. But if Amnesty were your only news source, you'd think it was the other way around. And this kind of human rights watching the world can do without.

9:02 AM  
Blogger D said...

PS: Countless reports? Please...

9:04 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

I suppose we will discuss AI after all when you come... Look, I disagree w a lot of what AI has done and is doing, to the point where I've felt ashamed of it for a good while now. Still, they have often been the absolute difference btwn life and death for many. More when you come, must study.

2:39 PM  

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