Saturday, 3 April 2010

Times: Human Rights Watch Corruption Revealed

The Times a week ago published an incredible article on Human Rights Watch, revealing their corruption and political bias, some of which I've already blogged on here.

Thanks to Elder of Ziyon for spotting the article when I didn't, even though the Sunday Times magazine comes right through my letter box. It's such an important article, so it's a bit disappointing that it's buried in the middle of the magazine when it should be shouted about on the papers' front pages.

The article reveals some of HRW's military expert Mark Garlasco's enthusiastic postings on Nazi memorabilia forums. The authour, Jonathan Foreman, quotes blogger Omri at Mere Rhetoric as wondering 

"if Garlasco’s 'obsession with anti-Semitic Nazi genocidal lunatics' was in any way related to his 'apologism for anti-Semitic genocidal Hamas lunatics'".
Then Foreman reveals hints of antisemitism at HRW, saying that as well as defending Garlasco's fetish as innocent, 
"HRW also went on the offensive. It accused those who raised the issue of Garlasco’s hobby of being part of 'a campaign to deflect attention from Human Rights Watch’s rigorous and detailed reporting on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the Israeli government'. It even used the word 'conspiracy': its programmes director, Iain Levine, later went so far as to directly accuse the Israeli government of being behind it. But he provided no evidence for the charge."
Foreman highlights that
"HRW has published five heavily publicised reports on Israel and the Palestinian territories since the January 2009 war. In 20 years they have published only four reports on the conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir, for example, even though the conflict has taken at least 80,000 lives in these two decades, and torture and extrajudicial murder have taken place on a vast scale. Perhaps even more tellingly, HRW has not published any report on the postelection violence and repression in Iran more than six months after the event."
A human-rights expert told Foreman that he was
"'not surprised' that HRW has still not produced a report on the violence in Iran... 'it’s not a priority for them because Iran is just not a bad guy that they are interested in highlighting. Their hearts are not in it. Let’s face it, the thing that really excites them is Israel.'"
The article also references Noah Pollak's observation that HRW is less concerned about Palestinians if the perpetrators are Arabs rather than Israelis - for example in 2007 when the Lebanese army shelled a refugee camp killing over 100 civilians and displacing 30,000; HRW put out a press release but didn't produce a report.

It also cites HRW's founder, Robert Bernstein, as pointing out that "Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel… than of any other country in the region.”

The article mentions tha
"According to an interview Garlasco gave to Der Spiegel, he was a key player in an air strike on Basra on April 5, 2003 intended to kill Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as Chemical Ali, but which instead took the lives of 17 civilians.
In another interview, Garlasco said he was responsible for up to 50 other air strikes — none of which killed anyone on the target list but which accounted for several hundred civilian deaths."
There's more:
"In June 2006, Garlasco had alleged that an explosion on a Gaza beach that killed seven people had been caused by Israeli shelling. However, after seeing the details of an Israeli army investigation that closely examined the relevant ballistics and blast patterns, he subsequently told the Jerusalem Post that he had been wrong and that the deaths were probably caused by an unexploded munition in the sand. But this went down badly at Human Rights Watch HQ in New York, and the admission was retracted by an HRW press release the next day."
Whilst that reflects worse on HRW than Garlasco himself, the fact that he made the allegation in the first place without an investigation or evidence is very telling.
If all that is not controversial enough, the deputy of HRW's Middle East department, Joe Stork, 
"was a radical leftist who put out a magazine in the 1970s that praised the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In 1976 he attended an anti-Zionist conference in Baghdad hosted by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein."
Although those may be things he regrets now,
"when Stork was hired by HRW in 1996 he had never worked for a human-rights group, had never held an academic position, and had a history of anti-Israel activism."
Other staff in HRW's Middle East department are also known activists, including one from the extremist "Electronic Intifada".
It is not shocking then, that HRW's UK equivalent Amnesty International, has also had it's share of scandal when one of it's staff was sacked for criticising it's links with, even support for, Islamic extremists.
These scandals together with HRW's reaction to them - and which can be applied to Amnesty too, "has revealed an organisation that does not always practice the transparency, tolerance and accountability it urges on others." 
Hypocritical, and biased. No wonder their reports can be so easily dismissed.

1 comment:

  1. "...disappointing that it's buried in the middle of the magazine when it should be shouted about on the papers' front pages," 'T'hey ain't bruyin' it in the middle.....that's where 'T'hey BRAG about it.