In an October 14, 2007 article, the New York Times discusses a report by military analyst William M. Arkin on Israel’s bombing of Lebanon in the 2006 war. As the article notes, Arkin is a professional air-power analyst familiar with the work of human rights groups, who served as an advisor to Human Rights Watch during the 1999 Kosovo war, and as a military adviser to a United Nations mission to Israel and Lebanon in 2006. The article quotes Arkin’s sharp criticism of human rights groups’ claims that elements of the bombing campaign constituted a "disproportionate response" and "war crimes".

Excerpts from the article:

"In debating proportionate use of force and civilian casualties, Mr. Arkin says it is a mistake to rely too heavily on witnesses ‘as a means of judging war crimes’"

"He said Hezbollah fought effectively. ‘But when human rights organizations and much of the international community showed up or commented, they seemed to act as if the force Israel was battling was nonexistent,’ he wrote. ‘As for the critique of air power, the connotation was that somehow a full-fledged ground war with the same mission against this same tricky and dug-in force would have been both more successful and less destructive.’ Once a government decides that it is fighting a moral war, "debating the morality of individual strikes is just wrong," he said. ‘If you bomb the right target for a specific military purpose, it’s intrinsically legal.’"

To read the article in full, click here.

To read NGO Monitor’s latest detailed analysis of Human Rights Watch’s excessive and disproportionate criticism of Israel, click here.