Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
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.
This would be a major step toward reversing the deep anti-Israel bias that has done so much damage to universal human rights.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies
Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.
Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.
Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.
Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]
The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.
Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.
To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.
The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.
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…”
NGO Monitor President calls on New Israel Fund to immediately and publicly condemn and disassociate from NIF grantee Adalah.
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: