OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

How the UN, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch launder terrorism

The staff of these outlets often spread false narratives, giving a boost to anti-West professors, politicians, activists, news outlets and celebrities who deliberately spread misleading messages that fortify hatred against Israel.

Amnesty International's anti-Israel report. Credit: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Amnesty International's anti-Israel report. Credit: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Faith Quintero
Faith Quintero
Faith Quintero is the author of Loaded Blessings, a family saga that alternates between Inquisition-era Spain and modern-day Israel. It’s among the Federalist’s top books of 2019 and was a Montaigne Medal finalist for the Eric Hoffer awards. Follow her on X @FaithQuintero7.

The United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch deploy deceptive tactics to aggressively shape public opinion against Israel. These organizations, founded by men of moral integrity, have been commandeered by leadership that exploits and undermines the credibility their originators painstakingly established.

The staff of these outlets often spread false narratives, giving a boost to anti-West professors, politicians, activists, news outlets and celebrities who deliberately spread misleading messages that fortify hatred against Israel. Other influencers become swayed by the misinformation and then act as unwitting propagators of propaganda. The misinformation war against Israel, the United States’ most reliable and only ideologically similar ally in the Middle East, is in fact a war against the West.

The Islamic regime of Iran, according to the U.S. State Department, is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. Iranian leaders call for “death to Israel,” “death to England” and “death to America.” They are extremely violent against their own people and hostile to enlightenment values. Two weeks after approximately 2,500 Iran-funded Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from Gaza to torture, slaughter and abduct as many people as they could (they murdered about 1,200 people on that day, abducted about 240, and injured thousands), Amnesty International posted a one-minute video on X (formerly Twitter) to elicit understanding for this barbarism.

They have continued to post it under different headings. In “What do you need to know about the blockade of Gaza?” Amnesty International reframed history in a way conducive to radicalizing intolerance against Israel. They omitted particulars that would contextualize and amplify the truth, instead conveying the antithesis of the truth. For example, they mentioned the 2007 blockade, but failed to mention that when Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005 (a small strip of land Israel won in a defensive war against Egypt in 1967), Jewish donors gifted millions of dollars’ worth of businesses to Palestinians. Islamic terrorists subsequently overran the enclave, dismantled those businesses and fired rockets into Israel.

The violence that ensued after Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian election of 2006 was gruesome and deadly. One Gaza doctor described “the level of cruelty in the factional fighting [as] ‘beyond imagination.’” Amnesty International omitted Israel’s responsibility to protect its own citizens from Hamas, an E.U.- and U.S.-designated terror group that has inscribed in its charter its commitment to destroy the Jewish state, and which has conducted rocket attacks on Israel from the moment it came to power. They omitted how Hamas terrorists have appropriated money from international aid intended for the benefit of Gazan civilians and dug up water pipes meant for use by the Palestinian population. They omitted all mention of the Islamists’ violent religious fervor, which put Israel in the position of either establishing a blockade and security measures or succumbing to the fate of the surrounding lands ruled by Islamic governments. And, contrary to their claim, Israel’s protective blockade is legal.

The Amnesty International video begins in the passive voice and describes the demographics of Gaza, misleading viewers into thinking Israel is responsible for the creation of the refugee problem. The end of the video makes a chilling claim that “without addressing the root causes of this violence, civilians will continue to pay the price.” In other words, they imply that the Jewish people’s efforts to survive, including the security measures that staved off many such attacks, are what caused Hamas members to rape, shoot, behead, immolate and abduct their innocent victims.

Amnesty International’s U.S. director has explicitly stated that Israel should not exist as a Jewish state, and the current head of Amnesty International has criticized the targeted killing of Iranian terror mastermind Qassem Soleimani by the United States in 2020. She recently spread misinformation that Israel bombed the Baptist hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds, when the reality was that it was a failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch. She has not removed her false accusation, despite the fact that X has placed a note on it stating the truth. Amnesty International does not address how Hamas deliberately launches attacks against Israel from civilian areas, nor how a leader of Hamas has boasted of using children as human shields.

The problem isn’t just with NGO leadership. A new addition to the Amnesty International board has said, “There is nothing called ‘Israel,’ it is ‘Palestine territory.’” She has celebrated when violent prisoners escaped from Israel and reposted a message honoring the “#Tel_Aviv_Operation” in which a terrorist opened fire on a restaurant, murdering three civilians and injuring more. She has also retweeted misinformation that the indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel by Islamic jihadists aren’t illegal.

Not only have several of Amnesty International’s employees and a recent board member expressed affinity toward terror groups and their ambitions, but the organization has gone so far as to suspend a leader who would not tolerate such expressions. In 2010, Amnesty International fired Gita Sahgal for objecting to the group’s public appearance “with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as human rights defenders.” Just this month, the NGO advocated with CAGE, whose former leadership called the murderer nicknamed “Jihadi John” “extremely kind and gentle,” to abolish Britian’s counter-terrorism program, PREVENT. Amnesty International has a toxic obsession with Israel, even offering a 90-minute course and selling bling to demonize the Jewish state. This obsession barely masks a much bigger problem.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is on par with Amnesty International in terms of its aggressiveness and dishonesty against Israel. Individually, but also in coordination, they create insidious 200+ page “reports” erroneously labeling Israel an apartheid state and often advocating its dismantling. The Amnesty International version relies heavily on data provided by four NGOs with links to U.S.-designated terror groups. The primary author of that report, the group’s Israel and Palestine Country director, was employed by the organization after having accumulated a history of hostility against Israel that includes the false charge of apartheid.

In 2015, this individual signed a pledge to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, and in 2013, he introduced such a bill to the student government at Stanford University. But when Israel deported him from the country in 2019 on the grounds of his BDS ties, his NGO wrote, “Neither Human Rights Watch nor Shakir as its representative has ever called for a boycott of Israel.” It’s worth noting that the founder of the BDS campaign has been vocal in his hopes to have Israel totally replaced by what would be a non-democratic country.

The lengthy documents that he and his Amnesty International counterparts oversaw provide fodder for propagandists looking to validate their false claims. NGO Monitor found, for example, that the HRW version contained 300 flaws “proven to be deliberately fabricated” and concluded that “HRW has only one goal in mind: the permanent end of the Jewish state, replaced by a Sharia-based Arab State of Palestine.” Despite the thousands of terror attacks on Israel, ranging from stabbings to mass bombings, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) noted how a search for the words “terror,” “bombing,” or “suicide” produced not a single mention of any of those words in either the HRW or Amnesty International’s reports.

The former executive director of HRW is currently a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and will soon be teaching at Princeton University. He has chastised the West for not repatriating potentially dangerous women who married Islamic State terrorists (whom he referred to as ISIS fighters). While he was still HRW’s executive director, and after the NGO cited a Saudi businessman for abuses against his employees, he took part in soliciting that billionaire for a $470,000 gift, promising not to allow HRW to use it for LGBTQ work in the Middle East and North Africa.

The New York Times, along with other major outlets, did not report on this scandal, even after HRW posted an apology a decade later. None of the mainstream media have reported on the inaccuracies of the reports that professors, live anchors and journalists regularly use when making misleading claims against Israel. Their hostility toward Israel has festered through to ground staff. This was evident when Amnesty International activists in Italy, who ostensibly work for an organization committed to advocating freedom for the innocent in captivity, tore down photos of Israeli hostages, ripped them to pieces and tossed them in the trash.

These NGOs would not be as successful as they are at deceiving the public were it not for the United Nations. One of its arms, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), was created expressly for the purpose of keeping the Palestinians homeless and yearning for a “return” to a land their ancestors fled, mostly on the orders of the Islamist armies that assured them they’d be able to return after they had defeated the fledgling Israel in 1948. UNRWA defines “Palestine refugees” as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

Teachers at UNRWA schools motivate children to hate and even murder Jews during the academic year while Hamas runs military camps for children in the summer at which they train for and rehearse such atrocities.

The United Nations page, “The Question of Palestine,” which includes a video, is riddled with misinformation. Reporters and educators who rely on it spread that misinformation, whether or not that was their intention. For example, a France 24 report entitled “From 1947 to 2023: Retracing the complex, tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (shrinking it from its original recognition of the Arab-Israeli conflict) referenced the U.N.’s false claim that Israel expanded to “77 percent of the territory of mandate Palestine,” which ignores the fact that the country of Jordan, which was part of that mandate, is actually four times larger than Israel.

The U.N. report also addresses an increase of Jewish immigration to the area but not an increase of Arab immigration during the same period, and completely omits the incessant pre-state Arab-on-Jewish violence. Attacks include (to name just a few) the attack on Tel Hai, the Jaffa Riots, and the Hebron Massacre. Through this misinformation, the United Nations spreads the delusion that the growing subset of Arabs now referred to as the Palestinians were innocent victims of some unprovoked expulsion. The U.N.’s latest page about the Hamas-Israel war omits details of the barbarity of Hamas’s massacre and does not mention that the IDF targets Hamas, not civilians.

There are nine countries currently serving on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that criminalize homosexuality. Yet the only country in the world that the UNHRC regularly condemns, via Agenda Item 7, is Israel, where the gay community shares the same rights as their non-LGBTQ counterparts. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) comprises delegates from human rights abusers such as North Korea, Turkey and Iran, which regularly single out Israel for condemnation. Last year, the UNGA had 15 resolutions against Israel and 13 against the rest of the countries of the world combined. This year’s chair of the UNHRC social forum was Iran.

The rap sheet of these organizations, and the people who staff them, is enormous, as is the number of unwitting people who rely on them. People with nefarious goals, including hundreds of professors, media personalities and activists, rely on the United Nations and the NGOs to gold-stamp (or create) untruths to validate their own deceptions so they can rally populations against Israel, the West’s most reliable ally in the Middle East. They motivate the partially informed to campaign against one of the most human rights-respecting countries in the world, a country that is itself targeted for annihilation by some of the world’s worst human rights abusers.

Through one-minute videos, a 90-minute course, 200-plus page “reports” and all the other anti-Israel propaganda they produce and endorse, these organizations aim to isolate, condemn and destroy the only democracy in the Middle East and whitewash the actions of the terrorists who seek to destroy it. Israel is one of the West’s key strongholds against terrorism. A senior Hamas commander recently boasted that the entire planet will ultimately be under Islam. Countries that implement Islamic rule are among the most unjust and oppressive in the world. If Islamic terrorists conquer Israel, not only would that give those with genocidal ambitions access to nuclear weaponry, but there would be no disruption of Islamist-influenced countries from West Africa through Central Asia.

There are organizations battling the sea of misinformation: U.N. WatchHonest ReportingNGO MonitorHuman Rights VoicesCanary Mission, the Middle East Forum, CAMERA and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), to name a few. They empower the morally sound to explain reality, based on facts, and to help stave off the damage being done by the anti-Israel lies that have combined to perpetrate the greatest hoax of the 21st century.

Originally published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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