(JNi.media) Only B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, New Israel Fund (NIF), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were quick to condemn the attack against Israeli civilians, according to an NGO Monitor report this week. Naturally, some of these statements include language that reflects a political agenda privileging the Palestinian cause. Other groups mentioned the attacks on Israeli civilians only in the context of condemning Israeli responses. These groups, including Addameer, Al-Haq, Alternative Information Center, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and Yesh Din, did not immediately comment on the attacks. In instances where the NGOs ignored the illegality of the attacks, NGO Watch is arguing that “this belies their claims to champion human rights.”
Amnesty International on Oct. 8 published a 7-page report titled “No justification for deliberate attacks on civilians, unlawful killings by Israeli forces, or collective punishment of Palestinians,” focusing almost entirely on accusing Israel of “excessive killings, …house demolitions and other collective punishment of Palestinians.” The section ostensibly on “Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians” did not limit itself to this topic, but also insinuated that the captured Palestinian perpetrators had been “tortured and otherwise ill-treated” and that “Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned the establishment of Israeli settlements.”
Addameer, Al-Haq, and PCHR described the Arab attacks as having “allegedly” taken place, and refused to blame Arabs or identify their terrorism as illegal.
Jewish Voice for Peace “perfunctorily mourned attacks on both groups,” and then went on full blast to express alarm over “the escalated level of collective punishment being imposed on Palestinians by both settlers and the Israeli Army.”
Ir Amim did not immediately condemn the attacks, and instead re-circulated a September 26 publication arguing that the cause of Palestinian violence are actions of the Israeli government and police, including limiting access to the Temple Mount, imposing collective punishment after an attack, and managing violent riots and protests.
Adalah, Al-Mezan, Coalition of Women for Peace, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA), and War on Want all released statements criticizing Israeli policy and actions, without even mentioning the attacks against Israeli civilians.
In contrast, HRW called the highway murder of the Henkin couple in front of their four children a “despicable act,” but also speculated regarding the attack avenging the [yet to be proven] arson murder of the Dawabshe family, and, naturally, the “unlawful settlements.” A later statement by HRW centered on Israeli policies, ambiguously referring to “attacks on Israeli civilians by armed Palestinians” as part of “an escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank.” HRW has also undertaken a media campaign claiming that one of its female research assistants had been shot by Israeli forces while observing a demonstration outside of Ramallah. Despite the fact that HRW has not identified this woman, the allegations have already been repeated by foreign media outlets sans facts or evidence.
B’Tselem immediately “expresse[d] shock at the killing” of the Henkins and the victims of the Old City stabbing. Both statements noted that “Israeli security forces are obligated to deploy to prevent acts” of “revenge” and “retaliation,” but did not call on Israeli or Palestinian forces to protect Israeli civilians.
NIF, after a strong initial statement on Facebook, later issued a press release claiming that “When Palestinians have no hope for an end to forty-eight years of occupation, the waves of individual and collective violence will most likely continue.”