HRW Appoints ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ to MidEast Advisory Board

Shawan Jabarin Appointment Infers Illegitimacy of Israeli Supreme Court

JERUSALEM – Signaling the continuing decline of the organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has appointed Shawan Jabarin, an alleged senior activist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, to its Middle East Advisory Board.  This appointment, as first reported in the Daily Beast, is further evidence of the moral collapse and corruption in HRW, says Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, a research institution that tracks NGOs.

“This appointment ends any façade that Human Rights Watch is a moral ‘watchdog’ organization,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.  “Mr. Jabarin has ties to the PFLP terror group, which specialized in aircraft hijackings and carries out suicide bombings and political assassinations.  He also heads an organization, Al Haq, which is among the leaders of delegitimization campaigns targeting Israel.  This appointment is a slap in the face from HRW Executive Director Ken Roth and Chairman James Hoge to terror victims, Israelis, Jews, and others who seek to uphold universal human rights.”

With this appointment, HRW blatantly disregards decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court and other countries that have affirmed Jabarin’s terror links. Jordan also has denied him exit visas because of his alleged ties to the PFLP.

As reported by NGO Monitor, the Israeli Supreme Court in June 2007 referred to Jabarin as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a human rights worker by day and a terrorist by night. In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld a visa denial because of his terror connections.

“By appointing Jabarin, HRW has contemptuously dismissed the widely respected Israeli Supreme Court” Steinberg adds.  “The assault on the courts is a key component of the strategy of demonizing Israel, as developed at the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference. HRW played a central role in Durban, and this is another step in the organization’s implementation of this strategy.”

This appointment is the latest of numerous moral failings, scandals and biases that have exposed HRW as a political advocacy organization. In May 2009, as NGO Monitor exposed, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) division director Sarah Leah Whitson went to Saudi Arabia to raise funds, selling the message that HRW counters “pro-Israel pressure groups.” Last year, the revelation of HRW “senior military analyst” Marc Garlasco’s Nazi memorabilia obsession further damaged the organization’s credibility. (Garlasco was fired, but an investigation never occurred.)

“Unfortunately, Jabarin’s appointment is the latest and most egregious immoral act for an organization that already lost its moral compass,” adds Steinberg. “HRW founder Robert Bernstein has denounced the biases and failures of his own organization, lamenting the organization’s failure to hold accountable closed societies and oppressive regimes.  The appointment of an individual with ties to terror reinforces Mr. Bernstein’s assessment of HRW.”

As donations decreased amid the scandals, George Soros rescued HRW with a 10-year, $100 million donation. Mr. Soros also funds Al Haq.

“Perhaps Mr. Soros and his cohorts should reevaluate their contributions, particularly as these groups strengthen ties with individuals linked to terror,” Steinberg adds. “This is the antithesis of advancing universal human rights.”