Amnesty-Gaza Update:

Back in August, I noted allegations that Amnesty International had sent out a press release condemning an official Israeli report on a shooting death in Gaza, apparently without having actually seen the report. I added:

Early yesterday morning, I emailed Amnesty’s press contact for the Middle East, Nicole Choueiry, and introduced myself as blogger for the Volokh Conspiracy. I forwarded the NGO Watch link, and asked if she “could confirm or deny that Amnesty wrote its press release without having access to the full report the Israeli army made on the incident?” I also asked “whether the basis for the underlying press release by Amnesty was a specific critique of the Israeli report on the incident, or was part of a general critique of Israel for not conducting independent investigations of civilian deaths in Gaza.” (In other words, would Amnesty automatically condemn any report, no matter how thorough, issued by the Israeli army, because it was issued by the Israeli army). A few hours later Ms. Choueiry responded that she would get back to me with a detailed response shortly. I haven’t heard back, but will let readers know if and when I do.

Ms. Choueiry never did get back to me, which I take as an implicit acknowledgment that Amnesty condemned the Israeli report without having seen it. I had reason to be suspicious of Amnesty’s reports from the West Bank and Gaza before, but at this point I think it’s fair to discount them entirely, at least until Amnesty replaces its local staff.

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