Readers will no doubt find a new e-book on the subject of Operation Protective Edge published by NGO Monitor and UN Watch both interesting and useful. Titled “Filling in the Blanks: Documenting Missing Dimensions in UN and NGO “Investigations” of the Gaza Conflict”, the report features contributions from renowned experts in a variety of relevant fields, including Professor Gerald Steinberg, Anne Herzberg, Hillel Neuer, Avi Bell, Jonathan Schanzer, Uzi Rubin, Richard Kemp CBE, and Trevor Norwitz.
Both throughout the fifty days of Operation Protective Edge and following its conclusion, a significant amount of the information provided to BBC audiences was sourced from various NGOs such as Amnesty International (see examples here, here and here), Human Rights Watch (see examples here and here) and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (see examples here, here and here). In light of the BBC’s repeated uncritical amplification of claims made by those organisations and others, Chapter 4 of this new report – described in its executive summary as follows – may be of particular interest to our readers.
“The credibility of reports and allegations from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) regarding the 2014 conflict: In this, as in many other, conflicts, NGOs that claim to promote universal human rights, international law, and similar principles, repeatedly and consistently made claims that were highly selective, unsubstantiated, or clearly false. Many of these groups, which enjoy a high level of visibility and prestige, produce highly biased “reports” and draw conclusions without any professional fact-finding methodology, often based on selected “testimonies” that are unverifiable and contradictory. Nevertheless, in previous publications from the UNHRC, including the 2009 Goldstone Report on Gaza, publications from unsubstantiated and tendentious NGOs, often repeated by UN-OCHA or journalists, are cited as “evidence” and their legal conclusions are repeated. In this section, the biases, lack of professionalism, and methodological failures of the NGO network are documented in detail.”
The pdf version of the report can be found at this link.