Amnesty International sought to distance itself from its new secretary-general Agnes Callamard, after a tweet from 2013 resurfaced in which she asserted that Israel was responsible for the death of Palestinian political leader Yasser Arafat.Callamard's tweet at the time cited an 2013 New York Times article that quoted then-president and former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres saying that he opposed the assassination of Arafat.Callamard attempted to connect dots, ascertaining that Peres' had knowledge of Arafat's death with the way he was quoted, saying that this is "where he admits" that the PLO leader was murdered. She then hashtagged Israel. "The tweet was written in haste and is incorrect," Amnesty International said in a statement, according to lawyer and human rights activist Hillel Neuer, who echoed its stance on Twitter. "It does not reflect the position of Amnesty or Agnès Callamard.”
Callamard began her duties as secretary-general just last month.In the 2013 interview, Peres stated that he was against the assassination of Arafat. He did not say Israel was the perpetrator, or give details. "You didn’t think that Arafat should be assassinated," NY Times reporter Bergman asked Peres."No. I thought it was possible to do business with him," Peres said in the article. "Without him, it was much more complicated. With who else could we have closed the Oslo deal?"Arafat died aged 75 in a French hospital in 2004. The official cause of death given by French doctors was a massive stroke, although they said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness.His widow, Suha Arafat, has made arguments that the death was a political assassination. French scientists made conclusions in 2013 that Arafat had not been poisoned.
.@amnesty: “The tweet was written in haste and is incorrect. It does not reflect the position of Amnesty or Agnès Callamard.”Actually, her rush to falsely condemn Israel without checking the facts is Amnesty's modus operandi when it comes to Israel.https://t.co/rXVU12KmwG— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) April 16, 2021