…..the best-known NGOs that assume the mantle of disinterested judges on human rights and war/peace issues are seen, on closer inspection, to be unaccountable groups too often pushing their own, decidedly non-neutral agendas. Among the stark illustrations that Rabkin cites are the failure of Amnesty International (AI) to react to the slaughter of a million people in Cambodia in the 1970s; the endorsement by AI and Human Rights Watch of Palestinian claims to a “right of return” to Israel’s pre-1967 borders; and the long-deafening silence of both groups in the wake of the campaign of suicide bombing launched by Arafat in 2000. The NGOs’ parallel conference on racism at Durban in the summer of 2001 “indulged in such extreme and explicit anti-Semitic tirades­among other things, reviving classic incitements to genocide like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion­that even the UN’s commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, expressed concerns.” “But by then,” Rabkin adds, “it was well accepted that NGOs spoke for ‘humanity.’” (It might be noted that the latest Lebanon War furnished abundant illustrations of NGO blatant anti-Israel distortions and bias. Removing the false mask of legitimacy surrounding many NGOs is a task that has been admirably performed by NGO Monitor, headed by Gerald Steinberg, in recent years.)

The NGO bias, as Rabkin demonstrates, is well ensconced in Europe. Indeed, a major thread running through this volume is that of European weakness, duplicity, appeasement, and moral pretensions. And in the last section of his chapter on “Eurogovernance,” Rabkin presents a damning indictment of EU policy in the Middle East. By its support of Arab initiatives in a wide array of international fora, he asserts, the EU “in effect… replaced the Soviet Union as the most important international sponsor of Arab nationalist rhetoric.”

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