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NGO Monitor Reports

HRW’s Credibility Gap: 14 Versions of the Abed Rabbo “White Flags” Incident

Expert or Ideologues?: HRW’s Defense of Marc Garlasco’s Nazi Fetish

In the wake of revelations that Marc Garlasco is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia, HRW has issued several defenses. Contrary to HRW´s claims: collecting Nazi Memorabilia is not an innocuous hobby, Garlasco´s hobby borders on the obsessive and flaunts Nazi symbolism, and he has authored a 430-page tome on Swastika-adorned Nazi-era medals. HRW’s attempt to characterize Garlasco as a serious military historian and to delete the obvious moral implications regarding someone so closely involved in serial condemnations of Israel is offensive and intolerable.

Experts or Ideologues: Systematic Analysis of Human Rights Watch

The Goldstone “Fact Finding” Mission and the Role of Political NGOs

The Goldstone Mission chose officials from radical anti-Israel NGOs to “testify”– including Al Haq, AIC, and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). The GCMHP representative used “Nazi” rhetoric. HRW has obsessively supported Goldstone, who was a member of HRW’s board. The process for the selection of witnesses are completely hidden, and some – including PCHR – were not made public. Seven NIF-funded Israeli NGOs claimed that Israel acted “punitive[ly]” and “deliberately and knowingly shelled civilian institutions.” The Mission has violated the London-Lund guidelines, lacking objectivity, transparency, neutrality, and professionalism.

Diakonia: An Analysis of Activities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Diakonia is Sweden’s largest humanitarian NGO, receiving most of its budget from the Swedish government. Some of the organization’s programs appear to be genuine and important humanitarian projects. Diakonia’s Civil Society and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) programs overtly promote the Palestinian narrative, and fuel the conflict. Attributes “structural problems” in the conflict solely to the “continuing of the occupation,” the “building of the Wall,” and “the fragmentation of the Palestinian territory.” The IHL website promotes a so-called “right to resist” and delegitimizes Israel’s right to self defense.

War on Want (WoW) campaigns on Israeli-Palestinian issues, December 2008 – August 2009

Pathological politics: HRW’s “white flags” report

HRW’s allegation that Israeli forces deliberately killed Palestinian non-combatants who had surrendered is an incendiary moral indictment. Video and similar evidence that is inconsistent with the indictment is entirely missing from the HRW report. The report is based on inconsistent Palestinian testimony, claims copied from other NGOs, and irrelevant forensic “evidence.” In response to criticism, HRW issued a defensive press release that did not address the substantial flaws in its report. The inability to verify claims is inconsistent with definitive pronouncements on “war crimes” -- an accusation made 15 times in this report.

Absolutely Wrong: Analysis of HRW report, “Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles,” 30 June 2009

In “Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles,” HRW uses the term “war crimes” 7 times, and the alleged attacks are termed “unlawful.” The case is entirely speculative, but the conclusions are stated with absolute assurance, as if the evidence was totally clear. HRW emphasizes pseudo-technical and unfounded legal. Credible and verifiable evidence is not provided. Military experts challenged HRW’s “claims and assumptions about weapons and drones.” The text appears to reflect the authors’ lack of significant battlefield experience, particularly related to split-second decision making.

HRW Plays Prominent Role at UN Mini-Durban Conference

On July 22-24, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held an NGO conference “to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.” Participants included Palestinian NGOs such as Badil, PCHR, and Al Haq, as well as Human Rights Watch and Israeli NGOs PHR-I, Keshev, and Adalah. HRW promoted the campaign to prevent Israel from purchasing weapons and demanded “on-going international pressure” on Israel. One speaker accused Jews of “buying everything” and controlling a “global machine, money.” Most NGO representatives expressed support for “lawfare” cases.

NGOs discover Iran´s human rights violations

Amnesty, HRW, and FIDH have issued a number of statements on the Iranian government’s suppression of demonstrations and related issues following the presidential election. NGOs call for “restraint,” “investigations,” and new elections. Before the elections, Iranian violations were not a high priority for HRW or FIDH. Despite its large and active Middle East division, HRW devotes few resources to Iran. The majority of Amnesty’s attention was through narrowly-focused and low-impact “Urgent Actions,” not in-depth reports.

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