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Turning a blind eye to child suicide bombers

Human Rights Groups Are Turning a Blind Eye to Child Suicide Bombers

It has happened again, still with no ensuing outrage from the human rights groups. Another Palestinian child was narrowly prevented from becoming a human bomb. This one, a 16-year-old (although some have reported that he is only 14 years old), was wrapped in explosives vests under his clothing and was stopped by Israeli forces at a West Bank checkpoint. His family is saying he has the intelligence of a 12-year-old and yet still the human rights groups continue to turn a blind eye.

When an 11-year-old was stopped with a bag filled with explosives on March 15, I asked in my “Closing Argument” the next day, Where is the outrage? Why aren’t the human rights groups chastising the Palestinians as they do others who misuse or mistreat children? Amnesty International told us they “condemn these attacks, regardless of the age of individual.” But they never felt the need to specifically condemn the use of children as suicide bombers because there had been “no previous incidents.”

I offered numerous examples of other incidents. But really, that’s just the beginning of the problem. They still don’t get it. When children are involved, they are being used and manipulated by adults who have indoctrinated them. Just condemning suicide bombing says nothing about the abuse of children. This is not just about Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians. It’s about Palestinians targeting Palestinian children. But when it came to the Sierra Leone conflict, for example, Amnesty International singled out the recruitment or use of children by parties to the conflict as a war crime.

Why are they so reluctant to do it here? Interestingly, Amnesty has long condemned targeted assassinations or what they call “extra judicial executions” by the Israelis. But when Israel killed the leader of the terror group Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, earlier this week, Amnesty still felt it necessary to issue a specific press release condemning that attack. It seems general comments about suicide bombing suffice when it comes to the Palestinians’ efforts to use children to target civilians and yet, when Israel kills a terror leader, it makes for headlines on the Amnesty Web site. What a shame that such a well respected and veritable organization that has done so much to protect so many just can’t be an honest broker when it comes to the Mideast conflict.

'Closing Argument' is a regular segment of airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC.