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March 08, 2007

Dismal Human Rights Report


The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on the status of human rights around the world, and according to NGO-Monitor its section on Israel is marred by the reliance on politicized NGO's that lack credibility:

On March 6, 2007, the U.S. State Department issued its influential “2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.�? As in past years, the 2006 report section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories�? relies heavily on allegations from politicized NGOs, many of whom are active proponents in the “Durban Strategy,�? without providing any criteria by which these NGOs and their claims were selected or assessed. NGOs cited by the report include ICAHD, Human Rights Watch, Mossawa, Adalah, and B’tselem. This analysis highlights deficiencies found in the 2006 report stemming from the reliance on NGOs that display anti-Israel bias, publish claims that lack credibility, and ignore the complexities of human rights requirements in the context of conflicts involving terrorism and warfare.

Among the report's failings identified by NGO-Monitor are its repeated citation of unverifiable NGO statistics. For example, the State Department report cites Btselem statistics for Palestinian casualties, despite a detailed CAMERA analysis which raises serious questions about their reliability. NGO-Monitor explains:

The 2006 Report cites to figures provided by B’tselem regarding the number of Palestinians allegedly killed in Israeli military operations. The report also repeats a B’tselem claim that “at least 322 were not engaged in hostilities when killed.�? No information is provided to support this claim. B’tselem’s data regarding alleged non-combantants has been called into question. In addition, B'Tselem openly declares its political agenda stating that it "acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories", and is not an independent human rights group. Its reports, including the number of civilian casualties, require independent confirmation.

Posted by TS at March 8, 2007 05:55 AM


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