Human Rights Watch. Jenin Report

JENIN: IDF MILITARY OPERATIONS A report has been released by Human Rights Watch

Independent story Human rights group finds evidence of war crimes in Jenin

So what do people think? Is there a case to be answered? Should the UN have tried again to get a team in with the consent of Israel or is this the latest in the line of Anti-Israel propaganda?

It is not unprecedented for a respectable western country to murder innocent people and then try to cover up the evidence with claims of self-defense and anti-terrorism rhetoric. Bloody Sunday

I 100% deplore the actions of terrorists with regard to Israel but the terrorists aren’t denying their crimes only trying to put them in context (bullshit IMO) but Israel is 100% denying this so I feel it deserves more debate.


Human Rights Watch is a well-respected organization, I for one will certainly exclude ‘Anti-Israeli’ agitprop from the equation. Whether the analysis holds up to further independent inquiry is of course something to be seen.

Of course, one rather expects the knee-jerk denials and interesting attacks on HRW from the apologist camp.

Before anyone accuses Human Rights Watch of being Pro-Arab, see:

'Saudi Arabia should open up its highly secretive justice system and end practices that deny fundamental due-process rights to criminal suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. Prolonged solitary confinement, confessions, and secret trials are regular features of the Saudi justice system. ’

Just out of curiosity, has HRW issued any reports the Palestinians’ intentional targeting of Israeli civilians? Because I would surely like to know whether HRW has any sense of proportion at all, which I have thus far seen scant evidence of.

Consider yourself out-witted by three minutes and the problems with cross posting!

Outwitted, my minty-fresh butt. I asked whether HRW gives a rat’s ass about Palestinian human rights abuses by intentionally targeting Israeli civilians, not whether they’ve condemned the Saudi government’s abuses of its own people.

You do understand the difference, right?

HRW is, to my understanding, also preparing or has prepared mateirals on your question, Minty, and characterized them as crimes against humanity. The Jenin report seems to have been moved out due to the differential time/political constraints.

So, let’s not play the smear HRW game, shall we?
(a quick search on their website, e.g., turns up this. I recall seeing an item in re researching a report on the same.)

Bolding is mine.

How, exactly can they determine that the civilians were killed “willfully”? If these investigators have the power to look at some ruins and determine the mind set of the perpatrators, I’d love to get them to look at some archaeological sites.
Oh,and the Palestinians have never used non-combatants as shields have they?
‘Human Rights Watch condemned the December 12 attack by armed Palestinians on a bus near the Israeli settlement of Emmanuel, in which ten Israeli civilians were killed and twenty-nine injured, and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.’/b]

Justice Undermined:
Balancing Security and Human Rights in
the Palestinian Justice System

‘People detained by the Palestinian Authority are frequently subjected to torture and denied access to fair trials, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.’

‘Human Rights Watch today strongly condemned attacks on civilians by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization.’

‘The Palestinian Authority should make public the proceedings and findings of its inquiry into the fatal shooting of two protestors in Gaza City on October 8, Human Rights Watch said today.’

’Human Rights Watch condemned the suicide bomb attack today on a crowded Jerusalem restaurant that killed at least 15 people and injured ninety. The attack killed six children.'

More available if requested.

This time I cross-posted.

Note the specific condemnations above.

Touche. :smiley:

That’s precisely what I wanted to know, guys. I was not enthusiastic about debating any report from these folks unless they were capable of recognizing and condemning atrocities committed by both sides. There’s more than enough blame to go around between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and any human rights organization that isn’t willing to recognize that isn’t worth the effort of debate, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll be back when I’ve read the report.

I would hazard the opinion from actually reading the report that it is a judgement --like all judgements of this nature-- made in the context of the event according to the best available evidence.

It would appear that they judged willful on the basis of specific incidents. Certainly of course if the IDF --as they note throughout the report-- had allowed them to investigate and interview soldiers, a better picture would likely have emerged.

And the point being that if your opponent may have committed war crimes, you are automatically absolved of your own possible war crimes?

Bloody hell.
(I specifically, however distance myself from the original poster in re his approach to the issue.)

See this page for details:

From a rather good Slate article on this issue and the way this thread is quite predictably developing:

I read the HRW report, and the big problem with it is that there is a total lack of information on their methodology and sources. Just flat assertions.

Given how incredibly wrong many of these types of organizations have been throughout this crisis, and given the incredible amount of dishonesty about what happened by the Palestinians, it really makes you question the accuracy of some of the conclusions.

Palestinians have been repeatedly caught lately ‘staging’ scenes of atrocities. There are reports that they are moving a handful of bodies around as they show investigators different areas, in order to make the attack look more horrific. Apparently, there was even a funeral procession in which the corpse was accidentally dropped - and jumped up and ran away.

Going into an area of heavy military action and trying to figure out what happened when the people who were there are actively feeding you disinformation is incredibly difficult. I’m not saying the reports are false, but simply that I would need to see their evidence rather than just their conclusions. If the ‘evidence’ is what some Palestinian told them, then I would discount it out of hand as the Palestinians have been proven to be completely untrustworthy.

And some of the claims just ring false to me. Like the one about the woman who was killed by an explosion after, apparently, Israeli soldiers planted a bomb in front of her door, rang the doorbell, and ran away. That just doesn’t sound like something the IDF would do. I find it more likely that the door was probably being wired to be blown open, the woman heard heard the activity, and came for to the door, which was blown as she was opening it. Something like that. A tragic accident.

For another example, I read one report which claimed that a man who laid down on the ground and put his hands over his head was shot dead for no reason by IDF forces. But then I read an interview with one of the soldiers who was there, and he said that what happened was that a man started crawling toward the soldiers, was ordered to stop, and continued crawling towards them. When he reached the point where explosives on his body could threaten the soldiers, they shot him dead.

It’s also important to remember a few other things. First, Israel could have flattened Jenin by air without losing a single soldier. Instead, they sent soldiers in to conduct a surgical operation without causing unnecessary civilian casualties.

Second, it’s important to remember that it can be almost impossible to tell who’s a combatant and who isn’t. I just read an interview with a 14 year old Palestinian boy who was bragging that his gang of kids aged between 10 and 15 were given a stockpile of pipe bombs and threw them at Israeli soldiers from windows. Any ‘civilian’, even if it appears that he is unarmed, can be a suicide bomber. In such an environment, mistakes are bound to be made.

Finally, according to HRW only 21 civilians were killed. That is an *astoundingly low number of civilian deaths for this type of military operation. More Israeli soldiers were killed than that. That tells me that Israeli at least tried to go to incredible lengths to minimize civilian casualties. I’m actually shocked that they managed to capture something like 1500 people and destroy the terrorist infrastructure in a crowded, heavily built-up area while only killing 21 non-combatants.

I believe HRW tries to be somewhat fair, but a perusal of their web site turns up an amazing amount of criticism about Israel, including things like educational standards and whether or not Arab children are treated as equals. Given that Israel is a democracy, there seems to be a disproportionate number of anti-Israel reports.

ahem, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I need to investigate this matter.

Charles Krauthammer would agree with Sam Stone (and so would I). From here:

Through the looking glass, shall we go?

Really, not what I saw, I saw sourcing, evaluations of stories, typical sort of in person interview based investigative work.

Total of lack of information? Hardly for those going in with out pre-set conclusions.

I guess some folks see other sorts of things.

Now, as the report noted, it was preliminary and limited.

Read, Sam previously came to a conclusion and now is seeking ways to cast aspersion on HRW.

Of course we can simply forget about agitprop coming from all sides – not just the Ps (whose tendency to overheated rhetoric and claims is of course true, but the report strikes me as striving to cross reference and not draw too many conclusions.).

Insofar as major media sources have reported Israeli reservists questioning the preparedness and tactics, it hardly strikes me that the report can be tarred --except by certain folks with a priori conclusions-- with the brush of “these types of organizations.” Whatever "these"refers to.

I never read an account on this last one, but Sam’s rather anticipated misdirection seems to forget that the report specifically mentions attempting to cross-check casualty lists and reports (characterized as stable) and notes areas of uncertainty such as undeclared detainees.

Yes, and both sides are doing it. Both sides.

Yes, a Palestinian is automatically a liar, even if his or her report comes with physical evidence and cross checks against others.

I suppose we should be wanting to personally review the interview notes and tapes, and of course based on extensive knowledge of the region and culture, gained from that well known source of ME expertise, the NR, we will make judgements. Yes, that would be the way for an ‘independent’ review to happen, wouldn’t it? By people who state that they discount out of hand what one group says.

A tragic accident indeed, but then they’re a bunch of lying bastids anyway, aren’t they. Can’t trust em.

I can’t stomach responding further.

Sorry, erl, but I’m still quite happily straight, male, and engaged. :cool: