Amnesty and MSM Muddy the Waters

Amnesty International released a report accusing Israel of illegally denying water to the Palestinians. Once again, the non-governmental organization is enjoying a halo effect where journalists report the accusations without question.

Yet the report is raising troubling questions about Amnesty:

  • Officials at the Israeli Water Authority told the Jerusalem Post they were never given an opportunity to present information to Amnesty researchers, nor respond to the Palestinian allegations. They also say the report's figures are deeply flawed.
  • NGO-Monitor claims Amnesty's report was timed to boost a campaign to boycott Israel. Indeed, a US speaking tour kicks off next week with Omar Barghouti addressing the Loyola Law School in LA on the topic — surprise, surprise — "Palestine: Thirsting for Justice. Israel’s Control of Water as a Tool of Apartheid and a Means of Ethnic Cleansing."

In addition to the widespread publicity afforded by AP, Reuters, and the BBC, Amnesty and the boycott movement scored a bonus with the Times of London, thanks to this over-the-top headline:


Robin Shepherd weighs in. See also The Issue of of Water Between and the Palestinians (pdf format), a document published in March by the Israeli Water Authority.