The following is an unpublished letter to the editor of the AP, from Professor Gerald Steinberg:
To the Editors:
The article about the detention of Palestinian minors, “Palestinian teen’s case casts spotlight on Israel detentions” (January 24, 2017), fails to cite reliable sources and instead primarily depends on Human Rights Watch (HRW), a political non-governmental organization (NGO) with a long track record of Israel-obsession and dishonesty.
In a prime example of media publications repeating allegations without independent verification, the article cites Bashi stating that Israel shows “patterns of arresting dissidents, journalists and rights activists” without citing any proof to substantiate these claims.
HRW’s history of targeting Israel is also mixed with apologetic behavior for some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, as documented by NGO Monitor. The NGO has lobbied the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and other international frameworks promoting false, distorted, and unverifiable allegations.
For example, in 2009, HRW held a fundraising dinner in Saudi Arabia, a monarchy that routinely violates basic human rights, to solicit funds from “prominent members of Saudi society,” in order to finance the group’s anti-Israel campaign. Sarah Leah Whitson, director of HRW’s Middle East Division visited Libya where she praised Qaddafi’s dictatorial regime for its “spirit of reform.”
Journalists should cease relying on political activists and self-described “human rights” groups that have consistently been shown to be more interested in creating headlines than in accuracy.