web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Anti-Israel Hypocrisy At Human Rights Watch


One of Human Rights Watch’s common refrains is the demand for “independent investigations” based on the allegation that Israel is unable to conduct its own inquiries.

Officials at the organization have repeated the claim more than 50 times since the launch in 2000 of what came to be called the Second Intifada, through the Lebanon War in 2006 and the fighting in Gaza last January.

By contrast, they insist that Human Rights Watch “researchers” are capable of professional and, above all, moral analysis. They portray themselves as the objective examiners of the responses of the Israeli military to attacks from Hamas, Hizbullah and other terrorist groups.

So who are these Human Rights Watch researchers who seek to serve as prosecutor, judge and jury in leveling allegations against Israel? What professional qualifications as human rights researchers do they actually possess, and what evidence is there of the open-minded search for truth and rejection of pre-formed ideological conclusions?

The organization’s Middle East and North Africa division is led by Sarah Leah Whitson and Joe Stork, each of whom has a long record of anti-Israel activism. Stork was a founder and spent 20 years as writer and editor for the radical Middle East Report, or MERIP. Whitson organized anti-Israel events at the New York branch of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Among those working with them at Human Rights Watch are Lucy Mair (from the Electronic Intifada website), Darryl Li (also a MERIP activist) and Nadia Barhoum, a Palestinian campus organizer at the University of California, Berkeley.

To be fair, Stork has claimed that his ideological beliefs of the 1970s are “contrary to the views I have expounded for decades now.”

But his 1992 article on “U.S. Policy and the Palestine Question” used the same radical vocabulary, attacking “Zionist hegemony,” new colonialists, American-Israeli conspiracies, “the elaborate ritual labeled the peace process” and Israel’s democratic values.

Whitson’s activities at Human Rights Watch reflect the same hostility to Israel. She wrote a letter in 2004 to Caterpillar Inc. urging the heavy-equipment company to stop selling bulldozers to the Israeli army, saying they were “being used to illegally destroy Palestinian homes.”

She claimed that “continued sales will make the company complicit in human rights abuses.” There was no mention of Palestinian terrorism or the dilemmas facing Israel in defending its citizens.

In Human Rights Watch’s “research reports” on Israel, the bias of Whitson, Stork and others takes the place of the promised “accuracy, objectivity, transparency and credibility.”

In many instances, the Israel-related Human Rights Watch reports from the past nine years are based primarily on “Palestinian eyewitness testimony” – testimony that is not accurate, objective or credible but serves the political goal of indicting Israel.

For example, in the recent report co-authored by Stork charging that Israeli soldiers shot Palestinians in Gaza waving white flags, the first of seven alleged incidents includes extensive quotes from the Abd Rabbo family, whose stories changed numerous times from the initial versions told to journalists in January.

At the same time, evidence that does not support the war crimes charge is absent, such as the YouTube clips showing clear use by Palestinians of human shields, and of white flags used to protect terrorists and lure Israeli troops into ambushes.

Instead, Human Rights Watch includes pages of irrelevant detail that create a facade of expertise, including satellite images, medical reports and quotes from Geneva conventions.

The same pattern was followed in Human Rights Watch publications on the 2006 Lebanon War, and in the reports condemning Israel for the use of white phosphorous and drone attacks in Gaza.

Whitson hyped these activities at a May dinner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, along with the need to counter “pro-Israel pressure groups” that seek to impugn the reliability of the allegations.

(Infrequent Human Rights Watch reports condemning Palestinian and Hizbullah attacks are fig leaves to claim balance and, in contrast to the publications on Israel, carry no operative agenda such as international inquiries, war crimes trials, sanctions or arms embargoes.)

Instead of giving credence to the bogus research and allegations by Human Rights Watch, what is needed is an independent investigation of the organization’s leadership and a cleaning out of its Middle East and North Africa division.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Anti-Israel Hypocrisy At Human Rights Watch”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Megillat Esther
The Origins of Purim
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Gerald Steinberg
Steinberg-092812

In its September newsletter, the New Israel Fund (NIF) urged Israelis to examine their behavior (“cheshbon nefesh”), declaring “We have been telling you for some time about the upsurge in hatred and incitement in Israel…”

UN human rights mission

The history of reporting by UN frameworks on human rights in Israel has been characterized by biased mandates, false and unverifiable allegations, double standards and hypocrisy.

NGO Monitor President calls on New Israel Fund to immediately and publicly condemn and disassociate from NIF grantee Adalah.

One of Human Rights Watch’s common refrains is the demand for “independent investigations” based on the allegation that Israel is unable to conduct its own inquiries.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/anti-israel-hypocrisy-at-human-rights-watch/2009/09/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: