Amnesty International is a great PR firm for the Palestinians. Muslims living in the West Bank can consider themselves well served by a recent paper submitted by the London based human rights group Amnesty International. The report: Trigger-happy, Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank takes a one-sided view against Israeli treatment of Palestinians. The report cites 22 deaths and 27 more wounded at the hands of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) between January 2011 and December 2013. Amnesty’s report gave the false impression that Palestinians youths were only practicing the right of peaceful protests when IDF forces exercised overwhelming restraint.
In the introduction of the 74 page report, meant to create a certain shock value among the unsuspecting reader, Malek Murrar, 16, offered testimony of the death of Samir Awad on September 20, 2013. Malek comes off as being coached by an Amnesty worker or by someone within the Palestinian Authority eager to employ a public relations smear against the Israelis.
Samir had just completed his third final exam of the day and was released from school at 10:30. Living in the village of Bordus near the city of Ramallah, Samir and his classmates decided to protest the Israelis building a wall near his village. Was that protest in a manner worthy of Dr. King or Gandhi? Was there a hand written sign lofted above his head? Was Samir throwing rocks at IDF soldiers? The report does not specify.
So, there was Samir, protesting by some means, when out of nowhere, many soldiers ambushed him. How many soldiers? Three? Five? Seven? Rather than take Samir into custody, IDF soldiers shoot him in the leg. Despite being ambushed by many soldiers and wounded, Samir manages to flee the scene where the IDF has ambushed him and runs toward his village. In a flair for the dramatic, Malek asks, “But how far can an injured child run?” Apparently, not far and fast enough because although it would have been easier for the IDF to arrest him, instead they shoot Samir in the back with live ammunition. To Melik, such behavior can only be considered premeditated murder.
It is incidents like the death of Samir that will never bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides lack common ground and wish the other would simply leave. Not allowing the Israelis to offer their side of the story makes Amnesty International a great PR firm for the Palestinians and has a bias throughout the report. As Israeli Foreign Minister Spokesman Yigal Palmor noted, Amnesty can only support its case by omission.
Perhaps Malek’s story holds a degree of merit. Where is the IDF report of September 20, 2013? Surely, one must exist for what happened at Bordus that day. Where were the IDF soldiers assigned to the wall near the village? What is their story?
The parents of Palestinian children would rather have their rock throwing sons martyred by Israelis than to find some way of living with their Jewish neighbors. People living in Israel and Palestine do not have to hold hands and sing kum ba yah with each other. Two peace options remain open. One side, the Israelis or the Palestinians, must win a decisive overall victory in their war against each other. Such a victory would be along the lines of what happened to Germany and Japan in 1945. The second and more practical option is finding business opportunities that will give each side a reason to cooperate. Trading partners rarely kill each other. Amnesty International is a great PR firm for the Palestinians and with its 74 page finding about Israeli brutality, Amnesty will attempt to use the paper to its advantage.
By Brian T. Yates