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NGO Monitor Analysis (Vol. 2 No. 8) 15 April 2004

Human Rights Watch: Continuing the Anti-Israel Campaign

  • HRW’s April 13 press release (Israel: Bush Should Press Sharon on Rights Violations) continues to distort and exploit the rhetoric of human rights for political and ideological attacks directed against Israel. See NGO Monitor’s latest analysis of HRW.
  • Of the 102 reports, letters, and related activities dealing with Israel/Palestinian issues listed on the HRW website between October 1 2000 and April 14 2004 only 13 focus on Palestinian terrorism.
  • HRW’s anti-Israel political focus is also reflected in the appointment of Joe Stork as HRW’s “acting” director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Division. For 30 years, Stork was a core member of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), described by the B'nai Brith as “a propaganda mill of the Far Left”, which openly called for Israel's destruction. MERIP Reports carried laudatory interviews with terrorist leaders, such as George Hawatmeh, from the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Stork and other activists distributed literature from the PFLP and Fatah (including PLO buttons, posters and flags).
  • MERIP's anti-Israel assault took its cues from Marxist anti-imperialist analysis, and Stork wrote repeatedly on “the origins of the state of Israel and its war with the people of the Middle East". After the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, MERIP issued a flyer which read "Munich and similar actions cannot create or substitute for a mass revolutionary movement, but we should comprehend the achievement of the Munich action...It has provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians in the camps." (Based on research by Rael Jean Isaac.)
  • Gerald Steinberg published “Israeli’s Have No Human Rights”, documenting the politicization of HRW and other NGOs, as demonstrated in the 2000 Durban conference, the distortions regarding events in Jenin, and other examples, (Jerusalem Post, March 8 2004.) Click here for the German version
  • Kenneth Roth’s defense, including repetition of claims regarding Durban, assertions that HRW is “an organization with a long record of objectively reporting on not only Israel's conduct but also abuses by Palestinian groups”, and accusations that criticisms are based on “calumnies and fictitious allegations” was published in the Jerusalem Post on April 2
  • Gerald Steinberg’s detailed refutation of Roth’s attempts to whitewash HRW’s political campaign was published in the Jerusalem Post on April 8
  • Prof. Anne Bayefsky’s article "Human Rights Watch Coverup" April 14 details the deceptiveness of Roth’s version of HRW’s role in the Durban conference.
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