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HRW Report. 2004. Razing Rafah. October 17, 2004.

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NGO Monitor

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NGO Monitor Blog. 2008. HRW’s Waffles on Durban Review Conference. April 30, 2008.

NGO Monitor Digest. 2009. PCHR’s Gaza Casualty Claims Discredited (again). April 2009 Digest (May 14, 2009), Vol. 7, No. 8.

NGO Monitor Digest. 2009. Al Haq Director – High Court Finds that Alleged Involvement with “Terrorist Entities” continues. March 2009 Digest (April 17, 2009), Vol. 7, No. 7.

NGO Monitor Digest. 2008. HRW’s Report on African Migrants in Israel and Egypt. November 2008 Digest (December 10, 2008), Vol. 7, No. 3.

NGO Monitor Digest. 2007. HRW Issues More Reports on 2006 Lebanon War: Same Bias and Unverifiable Claims. September 2007 Digest (Oct. 1, 2007), Vol. 6, No. 1.

NGO Monitor Press Release. 2009. Drones Latest Weapon in HRW Campaign against Israel. June 30, 2009.

NGO Monitor Press Release. 2009. ISM Fact Sheet: Radical Politics Endangers Lives. March 23, 2009.

NGO Monitor Report. 2009. The NGO Front in the Gaza War: The Durban Strategy Continues. February 12, 2009.

NGO Monitor Report. 2009. HRW, anti-Israel Campaigns, and White Phosphorous: Condemn First, Correct (Maybe) Later. January 14, 2009.

NGO Monitor Report. 2009. Examining Human Rights Watch in 2008: Double Standards and Post-Colonial Ideology. January 13, 2009.

NGO Monitor Report. 2008. Promoting the Al Dura Myth: The Role of Amnesty and HRW. July 28, 2008.

NGO Monitor Report. 2008. HRW’s Letter to President Bush on Gaza: The “Collective Punishment” Hoax. June 16, 2008.

NGO Monitor Report. 2008. NGO Monitor’s Detailed Analysis of “Off the Map”: HRW’s Politicized Characterization of the Bedouin Issue. May 19, 2008.

NGO Monitor Report. 2008. NGO Monitor’s 2007 Report on HRW: Bias and Double Standards Continue. April 29, 2008.

NGO Monitor Report. 2007. Center for Constitutional Rights: Serial Abuse of International Law. July 17, 2007.

NGO Monitor Report. 2007. HRW/FIDH/OMCT Statement on NGO Official Linked to PFLP. May 14, 2007.

NGO Monitor Report. 2006. Amnesty and HRW Discredited in Detailed Report. December 28, 2006.

NGO Monitor Report. 2006. NGO Leadership in Boycott and Divestment Campaigns. September 12, 2006.

NGO Monitor Report. 2006. NGO Analysis: CESR – Radical Political Agenda Under the Guise of Human Rights. June 19, 2006.

NGO Monitor Report. 2005. HRW and Amnesty Promote Caterpillar Boycott. April 13, 2005.

NGO Monitor Report. 2004. NGO Monitor Analysis of Interview with Kenneth Roth, Head of Human Rights Watch,” November 10, 2004.

NGO Monitor Report. 2004. HRW’s Report on Gaza: Lacking Credibility. October 18, 2004.

NGO Monitor Update. 2008. PHR-I Admits Research Mistake. May 6, 2008.

NGO Monitor Update. 2008. HRW’s Gaza Statement: Moral Muddle and False Allegations. January 29, 2008.



[1]  Schell died in 1987.
[2] As of August 2009, Mr. Bernstein remains Founding Chair Emeritus, but is known to have differences with the organization’s policies and actions in the Middle East.
[3] See HRW “Community” website section,
[4] “Financial Statements” Human Rights Inc. Year ended June 30, 2008.
[5] The eight donors listed on HRW’s 2009 990 form are Sandler Family Supporting Foundation; Sigrid Rausing Trust; Open Society Institute; Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program; Arcadia; Donald Pels; Oxfam Novib; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. HRW 990 Form 2009
[6] Ibid.
[7] Anti-Vietnam protesters sought to highlight abuses by America’s allies, in order to delegitimize U.S. involvement and pressure the government to withdraw. Soviet immigration laws provided yet another platform for anti-détente lobbyists.
[8] File: Kenneth Roth at 44th Munich Security Conference jpg.
[9] It should be noted that the “Europe and Central Asia” category includes the “Helsinki Watch” department, which originally launched Human Rights Watch. In 2000 Helsinki Watch was incorporated into the broader “Europe and Central Asia” department. The source for these figures is HRW 990 forms over the period 1997-2007.
[10] See “International Justice section” of HRW website,
[11] (accessed August 18, 2009).
[12]  See for example, Hoffman 2009;
Kreiger 2004; (video interview), November 4, 2004;, (accessed October 3, 2006). This biography was replaced in 2009 with a text which does not refer to his father.
[13]   In contrast, Human Rights First, considers “hate crimes” to be a human rights violation. See  Despite HRW’s overall failure to address antisemitism, it should be noted that its 2009 Film Festival included one film on this topic. (See  The film festival has typically been a forum for the promotion of the Palestinian narrative and demonization of Israel.
[14]  David Bernstein August 4, 2009,
[15]  MADRE’s “Palestine” page,
[16] CESR’s  “Palestine” page,
[17]  The Middle East Report is published by MERIP, the Middle East Research and Information project, of which Stork was a co-founder. See MERIP: The First Decade, Peter Johnson and Joe Stork, MERIP Reports, October-December 1981, cited in Safian 2009.
[18]  See “Leaving the Radical Left: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, and Jewish Response (Part 2),” New Centrist Blog,
[19]  See Zionism, Imperialism and Racism, A.W. Kayyali, editor, Croom Helm Ltd., 1979.
[20] (accessed August 20, 2009).
[21]  When asked by journalists to respond to NGO Monitor’s systematic quantitative analysis of HRW activities in 2007 (NGO Monitor Report April 29, 2008), Stork  answered “… I haven’t seen this report from Mr. Steinberg, and he seldom has anything useful or truthful to say – you can quote me on that.”  (Selig 2008)
[22]  “Programme Development and Extra Curricular,” The Department of Law and Policy, the Lahore University of Management Sciences website,
[23]  “Fourteen win Soros Fellowships”, Harvard University Gazette, Feb. 16 2006.
[24] “War Criminals at Harvard.”
[25]  Ibid.
[26]  Israeli Arabs have political rights equal to those of Israeli Jews. For more information see Bard.
[27]  Drones are described first as “indiscriminate” and then as capable of “targeted attacks.”
[28]  Boston Palestine Film Festival 2008 Program Schedule, Oct. 4-12, 2008,
[29]  Darryl Li reads Mahmoud Darwish’s “We Have on This Earth What Makes Life Worth Living” in Arabic & English at Harvard University, Sept. 28, 2008
[30]  HRW, Reed Brody biography,
[31] After the conference, Brody reportedly stated that, Israel “has committed serious crimes against Palestinian people but it is simply not accurate to use the word genocide and to equate Zionism with racism … it is now a matter of damage control.” See “Israel branded ‘racist’ by rights forum” Sept. 2, 2001.
[32]  Conference details,
[33]  See Appendix 4.
[34]  Mair wrote an op-ed to accompany this report, which revealed her deep antipathy to Israel, and her simplistic understanding of the issues. See HRW News Release March 30, 2009.
[35]  “2005 convention program,”
[36]  Al Awda, “Points of Unity,”
[37]  Nadia Barhoum, “Palestina: my studies abroad in Palestine,”
[38]  HRW Peter Bouckaert Bio,
[39]   Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Contributor Bio, Peter Bouckaert, .
[40]  HRW biography, Peter Bouckaert,
[41]  For more such examples, see Lebanon War case study

[42]  The Gaza Beach incident is examined in greater detail in the case studies.
[43]  Garlasco claimed the IDF intentionally used white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon even though military experts report that it is completely ineffective if used in that capacity. In addition, Garlasco criticized Israel for airbursting the munition instead of groundbursting it.  Groundbursting white phosphorous, however, can lead to greater collateral damage.
[44]  For more analysis on the HRW report see NGO Monitor, “Drones Latest Weapon in HRW Campaign Against Israel,” June 30, 2009,
[45]  Rayan was a leading Hamas commander who was responsible for planning numerous attacks, including a suicide bombing by his son in 2001.  See  Abu Toameh 2009.
[46]  See
[47] NGO Monitor NGO Index – the MATTIN group.; Source Watch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy – Charles Shamas.
[48]  Gamal Abouali Biography, Clearly Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP,
[49]  MIT/Harvard Gaza Symposium Biographies, March 30, 2009 – Andrew Whitely.
[50] James Zogby blog at the Huffington Post,
[51]  Staff page, International Crisis Group website,
[52]  For examples see Rain of Fire, acknowledgments (Mar. 25, 2009); Razing Rafah acknowledgments (Oct. 17, 2004) and Jenin acknowledgments (May 2, 2002). Following an independent audit, LAW’s executive director was accused of embezzling millions of dollars from donor funds. European governments and international foundations withdrew support, and the NGO ceased to function. See Regular 2003.
[53]  For more comprehensive and ongoing investigation of NGOs and their ideological biases and research deficiencies, visit
[54]  For more information on specific NGOs, their ideological biases and funding, see
[55] See “Palestinian Civil Society’s Strategic Position paper for the Durban Review Conference, Geneva 20-24 April 2009,”
[56]  Al Haq brought cases against UK Secretaries of State in 2006 and 2009, for the “failure to secure the implementation of the 2004 ICJ Advisory opinion” and for the Gaza War. Both cases were dismissed at the initial stages.
[57]  See “Panelist: The Intersection of Law and Diplomacy: A Case Study of the EU-Israel Association Agreement,”
[59]  HRW has declined to mention Jabarin’s link to this terror organization in the past. See NGO Monitor Report May 14, 2007,
[60]  International Institute for Counter-Terrorism “Casualties in Operation Cast Lead: A Closer Look,” April 2009,
[61]  See PCHR casualty list in Arabic,
[62]  From January to May 2006 inclusive, 347 rockets fired from Gaza fell on Israel. See Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 21, 2009.
[63]  On June 10 and 11, Palestinian NGOs, Miftah (headed by Hanan Ashrawi), the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al-Mezan issued press statements, condemning Israel.  These three NGOs all based their condemnations on video “evidence” ( provided by Palestinian authorities, which was found to have been manipulated.
[64]  Quotes from UPI report on press conference (accessed June 2006), previously viewed at
[65]  “‘We can account for every 76-mm shell fired from the navy boats. All were successful hits.’ In fact, Kalifi said, ‘the ones that fell closest to the location of the incident were fired four hours earlier.’ …Artillery shelling could also not have been responsible for the explosion, Kalifi told reporters. While giving medical care to one of the victims in an Israeli hospital, IDF medics extracted a piece of shrapnel that, according to Kalifi, simply could not have come from the artillery forces’ 155-mm guns.”
[66]  This is in violation of the Guidelines on International Human Rights Fact-Finding Visits and Reports (The Lund-London Guidelines) which state that “The mission’s delegation must comprise individuals who are and are seen to be unbiased. The NGO should be confident that the delegation members have the competence, experience and expertise relevant to the matters pertaining to the terms of reference.” See
[67]  It could not be determined whether this ordnance was planted on the beach by Palestinians or unexploded ordnance from earlier IDF responses to Palestinian rocket attacks.
[68]  For example, one of the victims of the June 9 explosion arrived for treatment at an Israeli hospital, having undergone extensive surgery to remove all traces of shrapnel from her body, a medically risky and unnecessary procedure.  Another example is the death of Muhammad al-Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian, on September 30, 2000, which became a symbol of Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.   Despite numerous inconsistencies, HRW accepted the Palestinian account that the IDF killed the boy, which has since been proven in a French court to have been a fabrication.
[69]  Al- Khiyal “Abbas Intelligence official killed by Israeli troops” (June 23, 2006),
[70]  HRW press releases were published on June 13, 14 and 19 while Garlasco gave numerous media interviews in between.
[71]  “Hezbollah Terrorist attack on Israeli’s Northern border: Eight IDF Soldiers killed and Two Abducted,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (July 13, 2006),
[72]  UNSC Press Release 8181 (Sept. 2, 2004).
[73]  See Times of India 2006 and Reddy 2006.
[74]  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “Hezbollah’s use of Lebanese civilians as Human Shields,” (Dec. 5, 2006)
[75]  Ibid.
[76]  Ibid.
[77]   IDF “Completion of inquiry into July 30th incident in Qana,” August 2, 2006.
[78]   IDF video #7: “Hezbollah fires missiles from Qana and Zidkin (Aug 6),” IDF (Aug. 6, 2008).
[79]   Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “Hezbollah’s use of Lebanese civilians as Human Shields,” (Dec. 5, 2006)
[80]  “Human Rights Watch’s report originally said that Israeli warplanes had carried out the attack, while further investigation established that the missiles most likely were fired by Israeli drones. Sloppy and sometimes exaggerated reporting in the news media contributed to some of the confusion.”, p. 24.
[81]  Available at
[82]  See
[83] See “Double Standards” section for more information about the allegation of “collective punishment.”
[84]   HRW’s first detailed report on Hamas rocket attacks against Israel was published in August 2009.
[85]  “[We] Urge that Israel take all feasible precautions to avoid indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks, cease attacks that assume that political entities are valid military targets, and not use white phosphorus ‘obscurants’ in densely populated areas.”
[87]  This inquiry was given the clearly biased mandate to investigate Israel violations “against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” See HRW News Release May 17, 2009 (accessed August 16, 2009)
[88]   See the discussion below on the issue of artificial balance and the morality of human rights in HRW’s agenda.
[90]  Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs July 29, 2009. See also “Hamas Booby Trapped School and Zoo Jan. 11, 2009,” You Tube, and “Hamas firing from school,” You Tube,
[92]  Such as an email from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation quoting a Jane’s Defence Weekly staffer.
[93]  The Israeli government’s report on the Gaza combat provides details that refute this claim. See Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs July 29, 2009.
[94]  See
[95]  The Breaking the Silence report consists of anonymous claims from a small group of Israeli soldiers, many of whom repeated rumors or confused versions from other soldiers.
[96]   Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Statement by Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary-General of the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, Sept. 4, 2002,
[97]  See
[98]  “Declaration Regarding Caterpillar Violations of Human Rights: List of Endorsers,”
[100]  It is important to note that  even though HRW cited Israel 15 times for “war crimes” and Hezbollah 19 times, the  publicity they are given is completely uneven.  For example, four of the 19 citations of Hezbollah were in Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks against Civilians in Lebanon, the only major report published during the 2006 Lebanon war.  As the title indicates, the report focuses almost entirely on allegations against Israel.  Condemnations against Hezbollah are thus buried, significantly minimizing their impact.  In several other cases shown below, allegations against Israel are far more widely publicized than are condemnations of Hezbollah, Hamas, or the PA. See this report on the 2006 Lebanon War and the Gaza Beach incident for more detail.
[101]  See IDF Spokesperson reports of trucks entering Gaza with supplies,
[102]  HRW’s “Washington Advocate.”
[103]  Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Geneva Convention relative to the protection of Civilian persons in time of war” (adopted Aug. 12, 1979),
[104]  Pursuant to article 2(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, an attack is “disproportionate” if  it causes damage or loss of civilian life “which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated.”
[105]  In contrast, despite the many factual and technical errors in HRW’s reporting on Israel, the organization has never issued an apology or reversed its position when such errors are revealed.  Instead, as shown in the case studies in this report, HRW tends to bury corrections in footnotes of subsequent reports issued months or even years later.
[106]  Officially termed the “Early Warning Procedure,” this involves Palestinian civilians “volunteering” to assist the IDF in arrest operations.
[107]  A commander in the Popular Resistance Committee.
[108]  The limited understanding of the law regarding human shields exhibited by HRW staff member Lucy Mair can be seen in an exchange with NGO Monitor’s legal advisor, earlier in 2006. See Appendix 4.
[109]  An April 2009 IDF report revealed that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh operated a command and control center inside Shifa Hospital throughout Israel’s operation in Gaza.  See Katz April 22, 2009.  Other evidence of Hamas’ use of human shields is widely available. See for example “Hamas Booby Trapped School and Zoo” Jan. 11, 2009, You Tube,, and “Hamas firing from school,” You Tube,
[110] The video is dated Jan. 8, 2009.
[111]  Examples of these passing references illustrate HRW’s minimal concern for Shalit’s human rights, and the NGO’s overwhelming focus on critiquing Israel: “Since illegality by one side does not justify illegality by the other, Human Rights Watch also urged Israel to refrain from any unlawful practices to gain the release of the Israeli hostages. Four days after the capture of Corporal Shalit in Gaza, the Israeli army on June 29, 2006 detained eight Hamas cabinet members and at least 20 Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the West Bank, according to the New York Times.”  (HRW News Release July 4, 2007) Also, “For example, on June 28, 2006, after a Palestinian armed group from Gaza captured the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and unlawfully held him as a hostage, the Israeli Air Force fired eight missiles at Gaza’s sole power plant, rendering the six transformers inoperable. Israel subsequently delayed or blocked the delivery of material needed to repair the plant, leaving it capable of producing 80 megawatts per day out of an original capacity of 100 megawatts,” (HRW News Release Jan. 13, 2009).
[112]  The Israeli Supreme Court has heard appeals on at least three occasions regarding the travel ban on Jabarin,
Charles Shamas, founder of Al Haq is on the HRW Middle East Advisory Board, which could explain HRW’s campaign in support of Jabarin.
[113]  Plus one audio file.
[114]  HRW reports that “The al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for at least twelve of the thirty-eight suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians in the January-August 2002 period.”
[115]  For details on the methodology see Appendix 1.
[116]  For a breakdown of the scores for each country and year, see Appendix 1.
[117]  In 2009 HRW held a fundraising event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sarah Leah Whitson’s presentation focused on HRW’s extensive reporting of “Israel[i]” violations of human rights in “its war on Gaza” and HRW reportedly argued that it “is facing a shortage of funds because of the global financial crisis and the work on Israel and Gaza, which depleted HRW’s budget for the region.”  See Salti 2009.
[118]  For the complete list of results for each year, see Appendix 2.
[119]   Note that this study covers January 1 – December 22, 2008.
[120]   The following section is an extract from a June 2008 NGO Monitor report analyzing HRW claims on Gaza.
[121]  Article 23 provides that:
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the preceding paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:(a) that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
(b) that the control may not be effective, or(c) that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided or produced by the enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in the first paragraph of this Article may make permission conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited thereby being made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers.
Such consignments shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible, and the Power which permits their free passage shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements under which such passage is allowed.
It is sometimes argued that Article 23 does not apply to the case of Gaza. If that is the case, then Israel is under no legal duty to provide even the minimal humanitarian supplies listed in Article 23.
[122]  “Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War,” Geneva. Part II: General protection of populations against certain consequences of war, article 23, (Aug. 12, 1949)
[123]  Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 18, 2008,
[124]  Marc Garlasco and Darryl Li termed this “indirect occupation” in a March 2009 article, though this phrase does not reflect any accepted concept in international law. (Garlasco and Li 2009)
[125]  PLO Negotiations Affairs Department “Factsheet,” “The Israeli “Disengagement” Plan: Gaza Still Occupied,”
[126]  United Nations War Crimes Commission. Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals. Volume VIII, CASE No. 47, The Hostages Trial. Trial of Wilhelm List and others (1949),
[127]  Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, Part 1: General Provisions (Aug. 12, 1949),
[128]  See, e.g., The Hostages Trial, Trial of Wilhem List, United Nations War Crimes Commission, Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals, Volume VIII, 1949, pp. 55-6,  (holding that “an occupation indicates the exercise of governmental authority to the exclusion of the established government … To the extent that the occupant’s control is maintained and that of the civil government eliminated, the area will be said to be occupied”).
[129]  “Israel, the occupied territories and the autonomous territories – ICRC
maps,” available at
[130]  NGO Monitor contacted HRW a number of times requesting information on the source of these claims, but received no response.
[131]  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “Hezbollah’s use of Lebanese civilians as Human Shields,” (December 5, 2006)
[132]  Ibid., Appendix 1
[133]  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Report, Part 2, p. 76.
[134]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p.256 [rocket launches as tracked by IDF Radar].
[135]  Ibid., Part 2, p.77.
[136]  Ibid.
[137]  For HRW’s original statement on Qana as and its revisions, see HRW’s “Israel-Lebanon Conflict” webpage at
[138]  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Report, Appendix 4, p. 256.
[139]  Ibid., Part 1, p.44, Part 2, p. 122.
[140]  Ibid., Part 2 p. 124.
[141]  Ibid., Part 1, at p. 46.
[142]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[143]  Ibid., Part 1, p. 56.
[144]  Ibid., Part 1, p. 39.
[145] Ibid., Appendix 1, p. 171-76.
[146]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[147]  HRW Report, August 2006.
[148]  Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Report, Appendix 4, p. 256.
[149]  Ibid., Part 2, p. 133.
[150]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[151]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[152]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[153]  Ibid., Part 1, p. 29.
[154]  Ibid., Part 2, p. 88.
[155]  Ibid., Appendix 4, p. 256.
[156]  Ibid., Part 1, p. 44.
[157]  Ibid., p. 45.