Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published another report harshly condemning Israel for alleged “unlawful” practices (“‘Make Their Lives Miserable:’ Israel’s Coercion of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers to Leave Israel,” September 9, 2014). As with HRW’s other statements and publications, journalists, policy makers, and the general public should carefully examine HRW’s record before referring to this publication. They should also verify all claims independently.
The issues related to African migrants are highly complex, and require serious, substantive, and nuanced examination and debate by Israeli citizens. HRW’s report provides none of these elements.
HRW also lacks a meaningful research methodology and is unqualified to make factual and legal claims regarding human rights issues. In many instances, including the report in question, anonymous, emotive interviews and innuendo take the place of verifiable evidence and conclusive facts.
In addition, its pronouncements on Israel are marked by systematic double standards and distortions. NGO Monitor has shown that key HRW officials, including Executive Director Ken Roth and Middle East department head Sarah Leah Whitson, are ideologically biased against Israel. Their personal obsessions belie a commitment to universal human rights and cast a dark shadow on HRW’s allegations about Israel.