Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, has published a very important criticism of the organization in the NY Times. In declaring his decision to publicly join the groups critics, Bernstein endorses the conclusion that HRW has lost all credibility over the Middle East. Bernsteins oped follows publication of NGO Monitors systematic report demonstrating HRWs blatant bias and lack of credibility on the Middle East. These findings have been amplified by the recent call for HRWs board members to institute a full independent review and reform in the organization.
Leaders of Human Rights Watch visited Saudi Arabia one of the major violators of the norms that HRW claims to promote to raise funds for the organization. HRWs anti-Israel obsession was stated as the major reason for holding this Saudi fundraiser. Sarah Leah Whitsons appeal for Saudi support and money acknowledged HRWs anti-Israel focus extensively, claiming that Human Rights Watch provided the international community with evidence of Israel using white phosphorus and launching systematic destructive attacks on civilian targets. Whitson also invoked the canard of pro-Israel pressure groups.