Dec. 10, 2015
In the past year, Amnesty’s moral bankruptcy was further highlighted by exposure of wider connections to terrorists. In August, The Times (London) published a series of articles revealing that Yasmin Hussein, the NGO’s Director of Faith and Human Rights and formerly Director of International Advocacy, has links to the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly to Hamas. Hussein’s husband, Wael Mussabeh, holds a position in the Human Relief Foundation (HRF), a member of the Union of Good, an organization designated by the US and Israeli governments as involved in funding terror groups. Before working at Amnesty, Hussein was employed at Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), also banned by Israel in 2014 for its alleged financial connections to Hamas.
In addition, Amnesty’s lack of credibility in accusations and allegations of human rights violations and war crimes is increasingly visible. In 2015, the organization associated itself with a flashy project known as “forensic architecture” based on pseudo-scientific methodologies. In a series of publications, Amnesty officials marketed what they referred to as the Gaza Platform, an “online tool” that purports to “map Israeli attacks” during the 2014 conflict. A promotional video titled “CSI: Gaza” intersperses highly emotive images of dead children with shots of staffers purporting to be remotely “investigating” the Gaza “crime scene”.
However, the Gaza Platform provides no real evidence, relying exclusively on publications by Palestinian NGOs which themselves have no credibility, no independent verification capabilities, and often contradictory allegations. Information that is essential for the establishment of war crimes allegations – such as the location of enemy forces and military targets, nature of combat, and intelligence available to commanders at the time of the fighting – is entirely absent. And the “Gaza Platform” based on “forensic architecture” fails to mention more than 4,000 rocket attacks from Gaza. (This exercise in propaganda was funded by a European Research Council grant.)
In contrast, in many places where real atrocities and human rights violations are committed daily, such as in Syria and Iran, Amnesty is irrelevant. The limited human rights reporting that does take place is provided by local groups with much smaller budgets, and by people with more interest in the substance than in the public relations aspects.