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"Efforts by human rights watchdog organizations like the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor contributed to HRW breaking its eerie longstanding silence about the intensifying repression of LGBT Iranians since Ahmadinejad took power. NGO Monitor highlighted the skewed priorities of HRW, such as fundraising in violently homophobic Saudi Arabia and devoting the bulk of its Middle East resources to investigating the region’s only democracy — Israel — which guarantees LGBT rights and freedoms for Jewish and Arab Israelis. Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, told me, “Human Rights Watch continues to be driven by an anti-Israel bias and lack of focus on real human rights issues in the Middle East, including women’s rights, religious freedom, and sexual freedom. Ignoring the plight of the Iranian LGBT community for many years is indicative of what HRW founder Robert Bernstein repeatedly condemned — HRW has abandoned its mission to pry open closed societies, to help individuals in those societies who lack the infrastructure to fight for their rights.”"