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REVEALED: How Israel Made Amnesty’s Local Branch a Front for Its Foreign Ministry

21st Century Wire says…

This latest revelation makes perfect sense when you consider the sheer scale of Israel’s brutality system of repression against the native Palestinian population, including how many Palestinian children are unlawfully imprisoned and tortured by the Israeli kangaroo justice system. 

In comparison to other Amnesty cases, Israel receives a fair amount of criticism on paper with Amnesty, but with very light treatment – and for the most part, totally unaccountable for its crimes in comparison to other countries. Compare this to Amnesty’s regularly scheduled over-the-top campaigns of condemnation based on fabricated reports implicating Syria – which dominate the global news cycle for days on end.

Over the years, part of Israel’s strategy, much like the US, has been to maintain some control over ‘human rights’ organizations – as is evidenced by the report below. By definition, this is controlled opposition.

“The Israeli government funded the establishment and activity of the Amnesty International branch in Israel in the 1960s and 70s. Official documents reveal that the chairman of the organization was in constant contact with the Foreign Ministry and received instructions from it.”

This intriguing chapter began for Israel after a 1969 report by Amnesty International which criticized the imprisonment and torture of Palestinians. At that point, Israel had to control the information…

2 Israel Amnesty war crimes

Uri Blau

At the beginning of April 1970 Police Minister Shlomo Hillel stepped up to the Knesset podium. He updated the legislators on contacts between the government of Israel and Amnesty International concerning detainees imprisoned in Israel and torture. He concluded: “We can no long trust the goodwill and fairness of the Amnesty organization.”

What the minister reported to the Knesset was that for a number of years, Israel had tried to influence the Amnesty’s activity from within. Documents collected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research and revealed here for the first time show that some of the people who headed Amnesty Israel from the end of the 1960s to the mid-1970s reported on their activity directly and in real time to the Foreign Ministry, consulted with its officials and requested instructions on how to proceed. Moreover, the Amnesty office was at the time supported by steady funding transferred to it through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: hundreds of Israeli pounds for flights abroad, per diem allowances, registration fees and dues payments to the organization’s headquarters.

The documents show that the most substantive connection was between the Foreign Ministry and Prof. Yoram Dinstein, who headed the branch between 1974 and 1976. Dinstein, an internationally renowned expert on the laws of war who later served as president of Tel Aviv University, had previously been a Foreign Ministry official and served as the Israeli consul in New York.

During his time as chairman of Amnesty Israel, years after he left the ministry, he regularly reported to his former colleagues on his activities and contacts with the international organization.

Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson, who, incensed over the arrests of Portuguese students, started enlisting people to petition their governments to release those who have since then been defined as “prisoners of conscience.”

Three years later, the Israeli branch of Amnesty began operations…

Continue this story at Haaretz

READ MORE AMNESTY NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Amnesty Files



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