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Amnesty International has replied to my earlier post at Zionation Israeli crimes in Humsa and Hadidiya - Amnesty International Hoax, but their reply persists in perpetuating the inaccuracies and false claims of their original circular letter and adds some new ones.


Their entire reply is here. It begins:

We have read your criticisms, both through your e-mail to us of 25 March, and your post on Middle East Web...

I did not post anything about this at MidEastWeb: Middle East though I might. Amnesty seem to have a problem with getting the facts right.

Amnesty wrote:

It is not correct that Humsa and Hadidiya are no more than summer encampments erected on land to which their Palestinian residents have no entitlement. Both villages are located in the Jordan Valley region of the Israeli-occupied West Bank in an area in which Palestinians have lived and pursued the same way of life for a long period, possibly many centuries, and certainly since before the Israeli army occupied the West Bank in 1967.

Jews have lived and pursued the same way of life for a long period in New York City, for many centuries. That does not give me the right to claim the Empire State Building as my own. My mother was born in Hebron. Does that give me the right to encamp myself on some land in Hebron?

We will examine the "summer encampments" issue below, since Amnesty themselves verify that it is correct. Israeli law and Israeli courts necessarily decide who has "entitlement" to what land in areas that are under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government. It is therefore absolutely correct that the Palestinian Arabs in question have no "entitlement" to those lands, since that was the decision of the Israel Supreme court, not mentioned by Amnesty in the circular letter they asked people to post to Prime Minister Olmert.

Amnesty wrote:

The Israeli authoritiesí obligations under international human rights law require that they respect these Palestiniansí right to freedom of movement and choice of residence...

The area in question is a closed military area. The occupying power has the right and the duty to maintain security as well as to regulate property rights. Freedom of movement was not at issue here. Nobody has the "right" to take property that is not theirs or to set up encampments in military areas.

Amnesty wrote:

In practice, however, as Amnesty International has previously documented, in some cases the Israeli authorities have razed entire villages Ė for example, the village of Khirbet Tana...

"Khirbeh" means an abandoned village or ruin. Khirbet Tana, like Khirbet Humsa, were abandoned ruins, and not anyone's permanent home evidently.

Amnesty wrote:

Since 2006, villagers have remained all the year round in Hadidiya and Humsa due to their fear that the Israeli army will take advantage of any temporary absence to destroy their homes and force them out of the area.

Therefore, Amnesty admits that its claim that these are permanent homes where the people have lived for "centuries" is false. They have only come to live their "year round" since 2006. The disposition of their permanent homes is not mentioned. The Bedouins or Palestinian Arabs in question tried to squat on land that is not theirs by building permanent residences or temporary ones. Amnesty would create a precedent that could be exploited by Jewish settlers who have built outposts that are illegal under Israeli law. They could rightly point out that Jews lived in the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria) for centuries. That these areas were occupied and that the occupying powers, including the Israeli government, refused to let Jews live there, and that the Israeli authorities are interfering with their "rights." Palestinian Arab settlers squatting illegally on land that is not theirs should not be treated better than Jewish settlers who do the same thing. If Amnesty International wishes to support the continuance of the illegal outposts of the Palestinian Arabs, they should also ask their members to write and protest regarding the intention of the government to remove the illegal outposts of the Jewish settlers.

Amnesty refers several times in their letter to "International law" and the "occupied territories." While nobody would dispute that the IDF occupies the West Bank, the applicability of International Law regarding occupied territories to these areas is in dispute, since international law is law that is applied in disputes between sovereign states. The West Bank was never under the jurisdiction of any Palestinian state.

The dwellings in Khirbet Humsa and Al Hadidiya were destroyed consistent with an order of the Israeli Supreme court, which determined that the land did not belong to the appellants. Amnesty's circular letter omits this information, as does their reply below. Their circular letter asks people to get Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to interfere in the workings of the Israeli judiciary. Is it really going to benefit human rights causes if the legislative branches of governments are told to interfere in the workings of the judiciary? If Amnesty wants to safeguard the rights of Palestinian Arabs for anyone else under Israeli jurisdiction, they fight the issue in the courts. In this case, they can appeal the decision of the court regarding the lands or ask others to do so. Amnesty's brief as a 501c(3) non-profit organization is to fight for human rights. The status of the West Bank is a matter for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians and their representatives, a political issue. Yet the letter that Amnesty International asked its members to send to Prime Minister Olmert requests changes in the administration of the territories that would amount to Israeli concessions in the political negotiations. Amnesty International is not supposed to be a Palestinian advocacy group, is it?

It is edifying to contrast Amnesty International's treatment of the Israel issue with their treatment of Tibetan rights. Amnesty International launched a courageous protest over the Chinese massacre in occupied Tibet. However, they failed to mention that Tibet is occupied, nor did call for an end to Chinese repression. They simply asked for an international commission to investigate the event in question and determine the facts. In the case of Humsa and Hadidiya they manufactured the "facts" instead. Amnesty International's summary of Human rights issues in China does not mention that China has occupied Tibet since 1949, and that China has transferred its nationals to Tibet in clear violation of international law.

Why doesn't Amnesty grant the same rights to Tibetans as it does to Palestinian Arabs? Why doesn't Amnesty grant Israel the same rights as it does to the Chinese government?

You can write to Amnesty at eastmed@amnesty.org or use the Amnesty International contact addresses and form

Ami Isseroff


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Replies: 1 Comment

Let's think about the Israel/ Tibet analogy: I see it this way. As Jews in eretz Israel to the aggressive imperialist Arab/Muslim Ummah [which Ummah invaded & occupied Jewish lands 630s-1917] so the Tibetans in Tibet to the Han Chinese imperialists [Maoist-Communist dynasty, invader & occupier of Tibet since 1950]. As Jerusalem to Jews, so Lhasa to Tibetans. If Amnesty really cared about human rights it would support Jewish self-determination, human rights in ancestral, sacred Jewish land (eretz Israel), against Arab/Muslim jihad; AND Tibetan self-determination in ancestral Tibetan land (Tibet), against communist/Chinese imperialism. Israel's resurgence [including return of exiles] = decolonisation, liberation of Jewish homeland & should offer hope to Tibetans also longing for liberation, decolonisation, return from exile.

S McCosker, Monday, April 7th


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