|LOS ANGELES – The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) denounces a recent report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that creates a new blood libel against Israel. The report, which falsely makes claims like Israeli soldiers target Palestinian children, contains numerous inaccuracies and only inflames hatred towards Israel.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action at the SWC, and Dr. Deborah Soffen, Children’s Advocate with the SWC, issued the following joint statement:
“With this lurid charge, this once respected NGO has now reached new lows in its ongoing campaign to demonize the Jewish State. HRW turns the truth upside down: it is Hamas and Islamic Jihad that serially target women and children in their terrorist outrages, and the Palestinian Authority that maintains a pay-to-slay-Jews monetary policy. Israeli soldiers do not target Palestinian children, but neither are they obligated to check IDs of armed terrorists to make sure they are over 18 before the soldiers can defend Israeli citizens and communities.
By giving credence to this odious lie, HRW is further inflaming hatred against Jews among the Palestinians and legitimizing even more hate and violence against the Jewish nation.
The blame for the deaths of four Palestinian teens, ages 15-17 who are subject of this report, rests solely on the terrorist organizations who are in constant violation of international agreements to protect children, including, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC), that was ratified even by the Palestinians.
That agreement prohibits the recruitment or use of persons under the age of 18 in hostilities and obligates the state as well as armed groups to protect children from armed conflict. Instead, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the PA do the exact opposite. They systematically incite their children to join in an armed struggle as teenage warriors to ‘free Palestine from the river to the sea’, purposefully putting them in harm’s way, knowing they could be killed, creating new martyrs for their violent culture of death.”
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About the Simon Wiesenthal Center
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).