Human Rights Watch has just released a report condemning Israel for war crimes. This is the same organization that after “a painstaking investigation” of a few hours, falsely blamed Israel for killing a family of picnickers on a Gaza beach. Human rights groups also got “the Jenin massacre” wrong and the death of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura wrong (video footage shows he was killed by Palestinians, not Israelis).
The Western media often grants NGOs and human rights groups instant credibility. They shouldn’t.
- Gerald Steinberg published an excellent overview of the “NGOs War on Israel” a couple years back, here.
- Suzanne Gershowitz and I—both graduates of Quaker schools—also look at the American Friends Service Committee, here.
- And, of course, who can forget Mary Robinson?
The HRW press release offers up Sarah Leah Whitson for comment. The back-and-forth between Steinberg and Whitson is really telling. With the human rights situation so bad throughout the Middle East, it really is too bad that HRW, the AFSC, and other NGOs have let politics hemorrhage objectivity and credibility.