HRW is famous for inventing and/or twisting facts to slander Israel. They tend to use Palestinian sources only, without bothering to verify. HRW refuses to recognize terrorist attacks against Israel as provocative.
For example, a year before the Gaza War they objected to Israel's limited response to the rocket attacks on Sedrot. In Jan 2008, Joe Stork of HRW wrote a 34 paragraph long letter bashing Israel (the length of one of my wife's weekend honey-do lists). Only two sentences of that tome mentioned the Hamas rocket attacks (about the length of what I get done off my wife's list). In their toxic tome HRW claims that Gaza remains “occupied." I guess Mr. Stork hadn't read a newspaper in a few years as Israel pulled out of Gaza almost five years ago.
Right after the Gaza war HRW made claims of Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza, in their usual spirit of inaccuracy and unfairness.
Human Rights Watch's latest move really "takes the cake." The WSJ Reports that a delegation from the group recently went to one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, Saudi Arabia:
To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi Law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals, subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? To protest the lack of religious freedom in the Saudi Kingdom? To issue a report on Saudi political prisoners?It is incredible that HRW's desire to demonize Israel is so strong, that they go to the "devil" to help in its demonization efforts. Perhaps HRW leader Ken Roth should get his head out of his arse and look at what his organization is doing:
No, no, no, and no. The delegation arrived to raise money from wealthy Saudis by highlighting HRW's demonization of Israel. An HRW spokesperson, Sarah Leah Whitson, highlighted HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations."
.....there is something wrong when a human rights organization goes to one of the worst countries in the world for human rights to raise money to wage lawfare against Israel, and says not a word during the trip about the status of human rights in that country. In fact, it's a virtual certainty that everyone in Whitson's audience employs domestic servants, giving her a perfect, untaken opportunity to boast about HRW's work in improving the servants' status. But Whitson wasn't raising money for human rights, she was raising money for HRW's propaganda campaign against Israel.
Someone who claims to have worked for HRW wrote to me, "I can tell you that the people on the research and policy side of the organization have little, if any, contacts with people on the donor side." If that's true, apparently this is yet another exception HRW makes for Israel: Ms. Whitson, who gave the presentation to potential Saudi donors, is director of HRW's Middle East and North Africa Division.
Also, as a Nathan Wagner comments at Opinio Juris: "Surely there is a moral difference between raising funds in free nations through appeals to ideals of universal human rights and raising money in repressive nations through appeals highlighting pressure brought against their enemies. [Moreover], the former type of fundraising does not imperil the organization's mission, but fundraising Bernstein highlights does, since any significant reliance on such funds will necessarily mute criticism of the repressive government."
Finally, some would defend HRW by pointing it that it has criticized Saudi Arabia's human rights record rather severely in the past. The point of my post, though, is not that HRW is pro-Saudi, but that it is maniacally anti-Israel. The most recent manifestation is that its officers see nothing unseemly about raising funds among the elite of one of the most totalitarian nations on earth, with a pitch about how the money is needed to fight "pro-Israel forces," without the felt need to discuss any of the Saudis' manifold human rights violations, and without apparent concern that becoming dependent on funds emanating from a brutal dictatorship leaves you vulnerable to that brutal dictatorship later cutting off the flow of funds, if you don't "behave."