Quantitative and Qualitative analysis of HRW in 2008 reflect the portrayal of Israel as the second worst abuser of human rights in the Middle East. HRW's use of international legal and human rights terminology singles out Israel for condemnation, while other serious human rights abusers receive little coverage. Evidence suggests that specific HRW personnel (Joe Stork, Sarah Leah Whitson and Marc Garlasco) are responsible for responsible for much of the bias, and when other individuals are centrally involved, the reports are less tendentious
International NGOs should work toward the goal of ensuring human rights for all citizens, everywhere. Instead, many disproportionately focus on allegations of Israeli violations and use their power and funding to promote a distorted narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In the first 16 days of fighting HRW released 11 statements on Gaza, primarily critical of Israel, including many using the rhetoric of international law for political objectives. Sarah Leah Whitson has carried HRWs campaign to the UN -- and similar to allegations made during the 2006 Lebanon war, HRWs claims about the IDFs use of white phosphorus lack credible evidence.
The addition of Nadia Barhoum, a pro-Palestinian campus activist, to HRWs Middle East and North Africa Division, increases the political bias reflected in the activities and backgrounds of Sarah Leah Whitson, Joe Stork, and previous staff. This is inconsistent with HRWs claimed "even-handedness and accuracy." Barhoum was an active member in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California, Berkeley. SJP promotes the Durban agenda of demonization of Israel, divestment from Israel, and uses terms such as "apartheid" and "mass atrocities" in reference to Israel.