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The more accurate name for "Amnesty International"

{Originally posted to the FirstOne Through website}

Amnesty International defines itself as an organization which “campaign(s) to end abuses of human rights” around the world. It writes research reports on 150 countries and territories describing its perceptions of human rights abuses. It then lobbies governments, and organizes petitions and campaigns to rectify the issues which it concluded needs redress.

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The Amnesty reports vary greatly in length. In countries in which Amnesty believed there were few human rights abuses, the reports were very short; where there were extensive abuses, the reports were quite lengthy.

Consider the reports on two Pacific countries, New Zealand and Australia. Amnesty viewed those countries in a very favorable light. The organization barely touched upon the trampled rights and ongoing situation of the indigenous people. The reports contained just 370 and 684 words for New Zealand and Australia, respectively.

Amnesty similarly viewed much of Western Europe through rose tinted glasses. The countries of Denmark, Switzerland and Belgium had reports of just 532, 613 and 670 words, respectively. The fact that they ban minarets for mosques, the wearing of hijabs and burkas, do not permit the ritual slaughter of meat and continue to enforce more and more anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim laws did not ruffle the human rights organization.

Banana republic’s like Cuba, Somalia and Sudan also were treated with gentle hands, with just 877, 853 and 1,191 words written in those reports, respectively. Those countries had some of the worst human rights records in the world. Perhaps Amnesty thought that abject poverty served as an excuse for illiberal policies.

But the oil rich Gulf countries were also spared Amnesty’s intense attention. Oman, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain had 719, 1013, 1091 and 1539 word-reports, respectively. The lack of worker and women’s rights, religious freedoms and those of the press and assembly were seemingly blinded by a buck.

Several of the nuclear powers seemed to be treated a bit worse, even though there was no language admonishing the countries for having nuclear power. France and the United Kingdom had 1,193 and 1,726 word reports written about them, respectively. North Korea – perhaps a combination of both a banana republic and nuclear power had 1,269 word printed about its human rights abuses. Yes, that North Korea, which is one of the least free countries in the world according to Freedom House, received a fraction of the ink that Amnesty wrote about the UK.

According to Amnesty, the worst of the worst countries abusing human rights appeared to be those with long 2,000+ word reports. Some of these countries were indeed horrific places to live such as Syria and Afghanistan. But look at the list below and consider which countries received the most attention.

CountryWords in Report
Myanmar2003
Iraq2004
Afghanistan2083
Syria2094
Saudi Arabia2181
Mexico2427
Israel2496
Russia2519
Nigeria2541
USA2627
Egypt2638
Iran2840
Turkey2849
China2934

It is perhaps not a surprise that China and Turkey – countries which jail the most journalists – or Russia, which kills many journalists, were high on the list for an organization that does a lot of research and writing.

But in what world can anyone seriously consider the reports of an organization that believes that Israel and the United States are worse human rights abusers than Syria and Saudi Arabia?

It is perhaps no surprise that NGO Monitor labeled the group “Shamnesty International” for not doing thorough and balanced research.

An example of the imbalance and bias can be found by doing a simple search under one of Amnesty’s core topics: Child Soldiers. While Amnesty reported on the terrible practice in Congo and South Sudan, it could not be bothered to describe the Palestinian Arab teenagers who are actively involved in terrorism on behalf of Hamas and also used as human shields, even while the organization went through great lengths to report on Israel’s perceived abuses.

Amnesty’s call for action and protests also fall flat. Did Amnesty ever call on the world to boycott Turkey for its illegal occupation of northern Cyprus since 1974? Nope. An arms embargo for its slaughter of the Kurdish minority? Nope. Maybe calls for halting cultural exchanges with a country that jails more journalists and dissidents than any country in the world? No way.

Amnesty only targets Israel. It called for an arms embargo. It called for a boycott of goods made in the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria. In its focus on Israel and the Palestinians, did the organization ever call out Hamas? Well, yes, sort of. In 2010, Amnesty called on Hamas to not execute Palestinian collaborators with Israel.

Amnesty didn’t completely ignore the Palestinians. in a section devoted to “Palestine (State of),” the organization wrote a grand total of 1,623 words – slightly less than the United Kingdom. Excessive Force – against Arabs only – got 164 words. The horrible cases of “honor killings” which is absolved by Palestinian law received only 145 words. Torture got only 162. But Amnesty managed to spill 389 words – more than the combined total of abuse of women and torture – on freedoms of assembly and the press. Zero words – nothing – about the ongoing war against Israel. That stood in sharp contrast to its report on Israel which was almost completely devoted to Israel’s action (never noted as defensive) against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Amnesty International presents like many organizations which appear to be advancing the case for human rights around the world. However, scratching the surface reveals yet another jaundiced operation unfairly targeting the thriving liberal democracy that is Israel which sits in the middle of a region of human rights abusers.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

Dancing with the Asteroids

Oxfam and Gaza

No Disappearing in the Land of the Blind

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

Apostasy

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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Paul Gherkin is founder of the website FirstOneThrough, which is dedicated to educating people on Israel, the United States, Judaism and science in an entertaining manner so they speak up and take action. In a connected digital world, each person can be a spokesperson by disseminating news to thousands of people by forwarding articles or videos to people, or using the information to fight on behalf of a cause because In a connected digital world. YOU are FirstOneThrough.