Photo: Hagai Aharon
Palestinian prisoners (archive photo)
Photo: Hagai Aharon

'State Department parroting NGOs'

NGO Monitor organization raises questions over basis of State Department reports on Palestinian prisoners

The recent report released by the US State Department – which contains criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinian security prisoners - merely parrots allegations made by biased non-governmental organizations (NGOs), an Israeli monitoring organization said.


Professor Gerald Stenberg, Executive Director of NGO Monitor, said in a statement that "many of the claims in the chapters on Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the 2006 State Department Human Rights Report simply repeat the allegations made by politicized NGOs, ignoring their lack of credibility and double standards."


"NGOs such as Adallah, Moussawa, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and B'tselem (all of which receive funding from European governments) provide the bulk of the 'evidence' for the discussions on Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement in this report. However, as NGO Monitor analyses have shown, these groups distort the facts and systematically erase the context of terror in order to promote their political goals," Steinberg said.


'Double standards applied to Israel'

He challenged a number of key allegations in the report, saying they were "not supported by the evidence."


"This systematic lack of credibility was highlighted during the 2006 war in Lebanon," Steinberg added, calling attention to Human Rights Watch, which "falsely stated that there was no Hizbullah presence in many locations from which rocket attacks were launched against Israel."


"In another example, the authors of the State Department report reflect sympathy with atomic spy Mordechai Vanunnu, by incorrectly referring to him as a 'whistleblower' - adopting the term used by Amnesty International and other political NGOs. A 'whistleblower' reveals illegal behavior by an organization, whilst Vannunu violated Israeli law and endangered national security." Steinberg said.


"The US State Department does not consider such illegal actions by American citizens against the United States to be admirable. This is one of many examples reflecting the double standards applied to Israel that have been copied from the NGOs without effective independent analyses," he added.


In the report, it was alleged that "poor conditions and improper application of security internment procedures persisted in some detention and interrogation facilities."


It also claimed abuses were carried out by some members of the security forces against Palestinian detainees. 


פרסום ראשון: 03.06.07, 21:40
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