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Amnesty International spreads anti-Israel propaganda

Jihad, Janna Jihad, Amnesty International, The Montreal Gazette, Canada, Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian, Israel, Hamas, Fatah

Oped

Amnesty International spreads anti-Israel propaganda

Amnesty International has always been at the forefront of running anti-Israel propaganda. This organization has been making frantic bids in giving legitimacy to Palestinian terrorism and jihadist actions of mega-terror outfit Hamas as well as other notorious Palestinian terrorists groups. Amnesty International has also been playing the role of a propaganda machine for thugs and thieves of Palestinian Authority as well as Fatah.

On December 6, 2021, Canadian newspaper The Montreal Gazette, published an advertisement by Amnesty International Canada, which was replete with anti-Israel misinformation and allegations devoid of any context. The ad featured the photo of Janna Jihad, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl asserting that she’s “fighting back against Israel’s oppressive system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, and added that she “faces death threats and intimidation for her work speaking up for human rights”.

Commenting on this outrageous actions of Amnesty International, Robert Walker, marketing and community relations associate for HonestReporting Canada wrote: The Amnesty International Canada resources profiling Janna Jihad claim that she has been “harassed for exposing Israeli violence”, but nowhere does it provide a scintilla of evidence of any abuse, intimidation or harassment which Israel had allegedly committed against Jihad.

Amnesty International Canada points out that Jihad witnessed her uncle’s shooting death at the hands of the Israeli military, but conveniently omits the facts of the case.

Jihad’s uncle, Rushdie Tamimi – a relative of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who was filmed physically assaulting Israeli troops –was killed in 2012 when he was part of a mob which was lobbing rocks at Israeli forces. It is critical to recognize that stones, far from being harmless pebbles, have been used by anti-Israel rioters to injure and even murder Israeli civilians. And while it is also true that an internal IDF probe found that the soldiers who fired were not justified in doing so, that very fact is a powerful rebuttal to Amnesty International Canada: that Israel is a country governed by the rule of law, and even when its soldiers act in self-defense, it will still be scrutinized and criticized if necessary.

Amnesty International Canada’s reference to “Israel’s oppressive system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” is a masterclass in obfuscation and misdirection.

It is critical to first recognize that Israel’s presence in Judea & Samaria (frequently called the West Bank in media reports) is hardly a modern phenomenon. For three millennia, the Jewish People have called this land home, and in fact the term Jew – Yehudi in Hebrew – comes from the land of Judea, or Yehuda, in Hebrew. Jews have lived in their ancestral homeland for three thousand years, and fought against foreign invaders like the Romans, Greeks and others for millennia to maintain independence. But to Amnesty International Canada, that seemingly means nothing at all.

It’s also critically important to mention that Amnesty International Canada’s claim that Israel has an allegedly “oppressive system” is a meaningless and misleading term. Israel’s presence in its historical homeland is demonized by organizations such as Amnesty International Canada, and when faced with violence and terrorism, any steps Israel takes to defend itself are likewise harshly criticized. It seems that not only does Israel have to apologize for its very existence in its own ancestral land, when it dares to defend itself, it only digs itself a deeper hole.

But what is perhaps the most tone-deaf about Amnesty International Canada’s references to the “death threats and intimidation” allegedly facing Janna Jihad is that while it certainly is a stretch to refer to Israel in those terms, it describes to a tee the actions of the Palestinian Authority (PA) against any party who dares to threaten its rule in Judea & Samaria/the West Bank. No less than Amnesty International reported that the Palestinian Authority was known to “arbitrarily arrest…peaceful demonstrators, opponents, critics, journalists and human rights activists”.

Israel, unlike the Palestinian Authority, is a liberal democracy governed by the rule of law. In Israel, critics of the government can speak out peacefully. Under the Palestinian Authority, critics face severe repercussions.

Of course, Janna Jihad is no threat at all to the Palestinian Authority’s rule.

In fact, she’s been one of the most powerful propaganda tools used by the Palestinian leadership against Israel, and has been trotted out since she was a child in an attempt to demonize Israel to the world.

Amnesty International’s anti-Israel propaganda appears in the Canadian media at a time when the international community is seeing the prospect of a large number of Arab and non-Arab Muslim nations normalizing relations with the Jewish State.

While for decades, particularly under direct backing of terror-patron Iran, PLO leaders have been blackmailing Muslim nations and blockading the prospects of their normalizing relations with the State of Israel. Following normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates under Abraham Accords, PLO men were branding the Emirati government as “traitors” and made foul bids of sabotaging this excellent initiative. But Arab Muslim nations were no more paying hid to such madness of those PLO men.

The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between the State of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, reached on August 13, 2020. Subsequently, the term was used to refer collectively to agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (the Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement) and Bahrain, respectively (the Bahrain–Israel normalization agreement).

The statement marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Jordan in 1994. The original Abraham Accords were signed by the Emirati foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Bahraini foreign minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. president Donald Trump on September 15, 2020, at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. The accords were negotiated by Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz.

The agreement with the UAE was officially titled the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel. The agreement between Bahrain and Israel was officially titled the Abraham Accords:

Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations, and was announced by the United States on September 11, 2020.

The accords are named after Abraham to emphasize the shared origin of belief between Judaism and Islam, both of which are Abrahamic religions that strictly espouse the monotheistic worship of the God of Abraham.

While Abraham Accords have opened the path for Arab Muslim countries to normalize relations with the Jewish State, now there are signs of a number of non-Arab Muslim nations also following the same path and normalize relations with Israel. According to media reports, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the possibility of Indonesia normalizing its diplomatic ties with Israel during his visit to the Southeast Asian country in mid-December, Indonesia’s foreign ministry has confirmed.

One of the main reasons behind Arab and non-Arab Muslim nations moving towards normalizing relations with Israel is the Palestinian statehood has become a powerful weapon to mega-terror outfit Hamas and thuggish Fatah leadership. Most importantly, Muslim nations have started realizing that the Palestinian statehood is clearly a delusion as thugs, thieves and scoundrels such as Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas alias Abu Mazen have been making tons of money by misleading Muslim and non-Muslim nations with their fake stories of so-called liberation movement.

It may be mentioned here that, for decades, PLO leaders have been making frantic bids in convincing the Muslim nations in refraining from normalizing relations with Israel, stating such normalization would “jeopardize Palestinian cause”. But in reality, such claims are outrageously baseless and can only be seen as a tactic of blackmailing the Muslim nations and extract millions of dollars with numerous excuses, most of which would ultimately end-up in secret bank accounts of the PLO men. It may be mentioned here that, there are frequent allegations that officials of the Palestinian Authority, including Mahmoud Abbas, have systematically embezzled public funds.

Abbas’s mentor and predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was accused of embezzling billions of dollars of Palestinian money. This perceived corruption of the Fatah leadership is believed to have contributed to a convincing win by mega-terror outfit Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary election. Fatah leaders were accused of siphoning funds from ministry budgets, passing out patronage jobs, accepting favors and gifts from suppliers and contractors.

The source for specific allegations against Mahmoud Abbas was one of Arafat’s most trusted aides, Mohammed Rashid, accused by the PA of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars, who threatened to expose corruption scandals in the Palestinian Authority. For many years, Rashid served as Yasser Arafat’s financial advisor and was given a free hand to handle hundreds of millions of dollars that were poured on the Palestinian Authority and the PLO by US, EU and Arab donors. According to Rashid, Abbas’s net worth was US$US100 million.

On 10 July 2012, Abbas and his sons were attacked, in the US Congress, for their alleged corruption. The debate was entitled Chronic Kleptocracy: Corruption Within the Palestinian Political Establishment. In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia, Elliott Abrams stated that “Corruption is an insidious destroyer not only of Palestinian public finance but of faith in the entire political system. And it has certainly had an impact on potential donors. I can tell you from my own experience, as an American official seeking financial assistance for the PA from Gulf Arab governments, that I was often told “why should we give them money when their officials will just steal it?””

The conspicuous wealth of Mahmoud Abbas’s own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has been noted in Palestinian society since at least 2009, when Reuters first published a series of articles tying the sons to several business deals, including a few that had US taxpayer support. In a Foreign Policy article, author Jonathan Schanzer suggested four ways in which the Abbas family has become rich. They include monopolies on American made cigarettes sold in the territories; USAID funding; public works projects, such as road and school construction, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and special preferences for retail enterprises. It was strongly implied that the sons lineage was the main credential in receiving these contracts.

One of his sons, Yasser Abbas, (but not brother Tarek or father Mahmoud) filed a US$10 million libel lawsuit in the United States District Court, District of Columbia, in September 2012 against Foreign Policy Group LLC and Schanzer alleging “false and defamatory statements. It seems every statement will be challenged, in a jury trial, if the court accepts jurisdiction”. Abbas also accused Schanzer of not contacting him for comment and of relying on untrustworthy sources of information. Abbas accused Schanzer of acting with malice and pursuing an agenda against the brothers, even though he also contended that he’s a private citizen and not a public figure, so we wouldn’t need to prove actual malice to win.

In reply, the magazine has argued that Abbas’s suit is aimed at intimidating his critics and stopping debate. “In the final analysis, the commentary falls well within the protections of both the First Amendment and the common law”, lawyers for the magazine assert.

Some analysts believed the Abbas family would not proceed with the case as it would allow Foreign Policy and Schanzer to dig in too deep into the PA’s secret finances and records. However, the case proceeded.

In September, 2013, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed the suit using D.C.’s anti-SLAPP measure. Sullivan determined the lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandoned their criticisms or opposition. The decision has been appealed.

As part of the 2016 Panama Papers data leak, it was revealed that Mahmoud Abbas’s son Tareq Abbas holds US$1 million in shares of an offshore company associated with the Palestinian Authority.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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