Sometimes I really don’t understand human rights groups. For example, earlier this month Human Rights Watch issued a call to Palestinian terrorists asking them to stop using children in suicide attacks.
The BBC quoted Human Rights Watch children’s director as saying,
Any attack on civilians is prohibited by international law, but using children for suicide attacks is particularly egregious. Palestinian armed groups must clearly and publicly condemn all use of children under the age of 18 for military activities, and make sure these policies are carried out.
I can just imagine a 1940s-ish Human Rights Watch urging Nazi Germany to make sure that no one under 18 was working at Dachau.
It’s not that I don’t understand and, to some extent, have limited sympathies with Human Rights Watch’s point here about the use of child soldiers, but it seems to me that quibbling over whether the Palestinian extremists use children or adults to committ their terrorist acts is trying to split ethical hairs a bit too finely. It is a variation of the sort of nuttiness that leads the BBC to refer to groups that use children to carry out suicide attacks as “militants” rather than “terrorists.”
Child suicide attacks ‘must stop’. The BBC, November 3, 2004.