As Nixon taught us, the cover-up is often worse than the original crime. So for those of us following the HRW-Saudi cover up campaign, here is a contribution from Ken Roth, quoted on Human Rights Watch and Its Saudi Donors (July 22). Roth told the Forward that the quotes from the dinner regarding “pro-Israel pressure groups” should be viewed in a broader context. “

Some 75% of HRW’s money comes from the United States, the group has noted, which is viewed in the Middle East as a bastion of pro-Israel influence. HRW also has many Jewish donors. ‘Since many people in the Middle East believe that HRW is too soft on Israel because of our donor base, we often cite the vehement attacks on us by reflexive Israel supporters to show the reality, which is that we criticize Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Arab governments – anyone – when we find evidence of human rights violations,’ he said.”

In other words, Roth is ezxplaining that Israel-bashers (including wealthy Arabs & Moslems) need to be shown that HRW’s American and Jewish funders and board members have not turned this organization into a Zionist mouthpiece (“too soft on Israel”). The moral issues and the substance (or their noticeable absence) revealed by NGO Monitor in our analysis of HRW’s “reports” on Israel are entirely irrelevant — the main point is to appease the Arab critics by proving HRW not “soft on Israel”. On Al Jazeera and in the UN Human Rights Council (where HRW’s halo shines bright next to the Libyan and Iranian delegates), the more absurd the attacks on Israel (war crimes, collective punishment, drones, white flags, deliberate killing, etc.), the better.

Any resemblance to reality is strictly accidental and infrequent — as demonstrated in HRW’s barrage of publications. (Youtube videos showing Hamas using false “white flags” highlight the latest examples of HRW’s political fiction.) And the rare fig-leaf reports criticizing Hamas and Hezbollah (usually a ratio of 1 in 4) are “fire and forget” — no one takes them seriously, including HRW.

So one of the reasons that Israel is targeted uniquely by HRW is to show that they are free from influence by the hated Zionists. In contrast, on China, Roth doesn’t need to demonstrate that he is not a “mouthpiece for Tibet”. But expect this to change when HRW starts to raise funds in Beijing.