Yesterday I wrote about a declaration issued by 12 “human rights” groups condemning the treatment of Gilad Shalit, but pointedly not calling for his release.
One of them, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), has issued a furious communiqué denouncing its defamation by some local media outlets, which incorrectly accused it of — imagine — demanding Shalit’s release. PCHR writes,
On Monday morning, 27 June 2011, a number of local websites published a news item entitled “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights Demands Releasing Shalit.” In the article they claimed that a Palestinian human rights organization joined Zionist human rights organizations in their demand to release the Zionist solider, Gilad Shait, with total disregard both for the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and war crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation against them.”
This assault followed PCHR’s signature on a joint statement by international and Israeli human rights organizations on 24 June 2011. The statement demanded that the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shait, who has been held by Palestinian resistance groups for five years, be treated as a prisoner of war according to international law.
The press release lists 10 points that PCHR wishes to emphasize. Here are a few of them:
1. What has been published in the media is an explicit and intentional fallacy, whose purpose is to defame PCHR and its status.
2. The above statement does not demand the release of Shalit, but it stresses that Shalit has the right to be visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and to be treated humanely according to international standards.
In other words, PCHR thinks that to ask that a young man who has spent the last five years of his life (if indeed he remains alive) in an underground cell be released would blacken its reputation as a fighter for the Palestinian Cause.
5. PCHR has always emphasized that Shalit was captured on his tank inside the Gaza Strip during an armed clash with Palestinian resistance activists, who practiced their legitimate right to resist the occupation. However, this does not deny the necessity to treat him, and all Palestinian resistance activists, humanely.
Almost every word of this statement is false. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by a group of Palestinian terrorists five years and one day ago, after they crossed into Israel through a tunnel dug underneath the border fence near the Kerem Shalom crossing and attacked an army installation there. In the ensuing fight two Israeli soldiers were killed and four wounded, including Shalit, who was dragged back into Gaza through the tunnel.
Gaza was not occupied by Israel, which had evacuated every single Israeli soldier and civilian, including the dead that were buried there, in 2005.
This is particularly relevant because PCHR, as NGO Monitor reports, was a major contributor to the UN’s viciously false Goldstone Report: PCHR “provided 75 minutes of testimony to the mission, and was quoted 50 times in the document.” Do you think the ‘testimony’ was true or objective? I don’t.
10. The suffering of the captured soldier’s mother is the same of thousands of Palestinian mothers who wish freedom for their sons.
The more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israel demanded by Hamas in return for Shalit have been convicted of crimes including multiple murders and terrorism. There is no equivalence between these terrorists and Shalit, who is best described as a hostage.
These prisoners have been granted far more privileges than required by international law. Recently, after Hamas refused to allow the Red Cross to visit Shalit or even to provide proof that he is alive, PM Netanyahu announced that Palestinian prisoners would no longer be allowed to study for college degrees by correspondence while incarcerated — although those who had already matriculated would be allowed to continue!
PCHR gets financial support from the following (per NGO Monitor):
…the European Union and the governments of Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway. NGO Development Center (NDC – governments of Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark) allocated $425,000 to PCHR in 2010-2012.Private organizations providing funding include: Ford Foundation (USA), International Commission of Jurists (Sweden), Open Society Foundations (OSI – US), Christian Aid (UK), Grassroots International (US), Kvina Till Kvina (Sweden), Al-Quds Association Malaga (Spain), Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), CARE (West Bank/Gaza), ACSUR (Spain), DanChurchAid (Denmark), and the Welfare Association.
I am happy to help publicize PCHR’s outrage at being smeared as showing inadequate support for the Cause, which of course is the destruction of the state of Israel and the death or dispersion of its Jewish inhabitants.
And might I add that every dollar donated to PCHR by the donors listed above enables them to continue to work alongside Hamas to accomplish this.