The addition of Nadia Barhoum, a pro-Palestinian campus activist, as an “associate” to HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Division in 2008, also reflects and reinforces the political bias of the division. Barhoum was an active member in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 2005 she was the group’s publicity chair. Barhoum has used the “apartheid” rhetoric of the Durban strategy, stating that the SJP’s “message . . . is to resist occupation and end the apartheid-like framework which is found in Palestine-Israel” (Pimentel 2007). Barhoum campaigned at the University of California, calling on the institution to “divest from Israel,” and urging its students to “join the struggle against the occupation of Palestine” (Erakat, Madadi and Barhoum 2004). This article includes the inflammatory allegation that “Jewish settlements stand atop recently flattened Palestinian homes, schools and hospitals.”
Barhoum was also a student representative to a “right of return” conference run by Al-Awda California,35 which equates Zionism with racism and is involved in pro-Palestinian advocacy.36 She spent a year in “Palestine” (Smith 2006) at Birzeit University (Barhoum 2007) and wrote a blog37 chronicling her travels. The only references to Israelis in her observations are negative ones and in the context of Palestinian suffering. There is no mention of terrorism and its impact.