I was quite surprised to see a profile of Gilad Shalit penned by Amnesty International in the Irish Times. Neither the human rights organization nor the newspaper are friends of Israel. Could highlighting five years of Shalit’s imprisonment by Hamas in Gaza with no access to the Red Cross mark a recognition of universal human rights i.e. Israelis also deserve human rights?
Yes and no. Amnesty and / or the Irish Times made sure to add some disclaimers lest they be seen as being a bit too supportive of Israel. Referring to the terrorist infiltration that ended with Shalit’s capture, the article stresses that the Palestinians had a valid reason for taking Shalit. After all:
The attack followed Israeli shelling and air strikes that killed more than 100 Palestinians in the previous month, many of them unarmed civilians and including several children.
Since when did Hamas need an excuse to launch an attack on Israel?
And let’s not forget to include the obligatory and sweeping dig at Israel, the Middle East’s human rights abuser-in-chief:
Unlike many of the prisoners Amnesty International campaigns for, Gilad is not a human rights activist. He is an Israeli soldier captured in a conflict situation. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children have been, and are, the victims of human rights abuses by the Israeli military in Gaza and the West Bank.
So, looks like Amnesty couldn’t quite go the distance on this one.