JERUSALEM, ISRAEL /November 29, 2022 / A new analysis released today by Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor shows fundamental flaws, lies, distortions, omissions, and blatant double standards in Human Rights Watch’s April 2021 publication accusing Israel of the crimes of “apartheid” and “persecution.” A careful examination of the text uncovered 303 total flaws: 105 errors, 136 misrepresentations, 37 omissions, and 25 double standards – creating a narrative meant to demonize Israel. The analysis show that HRW conducted almost no primary research on the subject and cited very few primary documents.
In this document, HRW repeats the claim that Israel, by definition, is an apartheid state, including within the pre-1967 borders. As reflected by the report’s narrative and recommendations, HRW’s goal is clear: to end the existence of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Examining a lengthy publication with 867 footnotes was a time-consuming process. Among the most notable weaknesses is HRW’s extensive reliance on the claims of other NGOs and self-declared human rights organizations, comprising more than half of the total body of evidence. HRW also cites itself approximately 175 times – 20% of all citations; B’Tselem about 70 times; and 20-40 times each from Peace Now, Adalah, Gisha, Ir Amim, and HaMoked – all politicized NGOs active in the anti-Israel “apartheid” campaign.
As we did with the very similar Amnesty International publication, NGO Monitor prepared this analysis in response to the uncritical reception of HRW’s publication by journalists, UN and government officials, academics and others. We examined and scrutinized every line of HRW’s publication, closely read the sources and citations provided, documenting four categories of faults:
- ERRORS – this category includes incorrect factual claims, mistaken or falsified quotes and statements, and conclusions that do not follow from the evidence. The errors reflect copying incorrect information from third party reports that HRW did not bother to verify; copying information from obsolete sources, and similar practices.
- MISREPRESENTATIONS – HRW repeatedly manipulates facts or events to fit the apartheid narrative, including removal of critical information and using isolated incidents to draw broad conclusions.
- OMISSIONS – in presenting its apartheid accusation, HRW erases numerous key aspects of the conflict, instead presenting a completely one-sided history of the conflict that makes no mention of any violence perpetrated against Israelis.
- DOUBLE STANDARDS – HRW consistently holds Israel to what this document calls a “perfection standard,” where any disparity between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel is seen by HRW as a result of and evidence of apartheid. For example, higher poverty rates for Arabs versus Jews is seen as part of deliberate apartheid.
NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg noted: “This detailed analysis is a powerful rebuke to all those who gave HRW’s pseudo-report credibility. It highlights over 20 years of empty accusations against Israel under the façade of human rights reporting. The page-by-page exposé strips away the ‘halo effect’ that has enabled HRW to avoid independent scrutiny for far too long.”
The only element of the HRW report that is not covered in this analysis is the blatant manipulation of international law to redefine apartheid. HRW’s deliberate errors in its analysis of “apartheid” in international law is well covered in two reports authored by legal experts Joshua Kern and Anne Herzberg and published by NGO Monitor. (Here and here)