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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Proof that Human Rights Watch has lost all moral foundations

On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch founder Robert Bernstein wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he lambasted his former colleagues for their anti-Israel obsession.

On Wednesday, NGO Monitor's Anne Herzberg wrote an op-ed in the JPost in which she introduced (and lambasted) Human Rights Watch's ridiculous moral equivalence of the year: Comparing Israel's defensive action in Gaza to the mass murder of civilians in Darfur.
The most outrageous and untenable argument HRW officials are advancing, however, is that the US has to promote Goldstone's discredited report so that it will have greater standing going after crimes in Darfur.

According to Whitson, "failure to demand justice for attacks on civilians in Gaza and the Negev will reveal hypocrisy in US policy. The Obama administration cannot demand accountability for serious violations in places like Sudan and Congo but let allies like Israel go free."

HRW's "emergencies senior researcher" Fred Abrahams made similar claims on a conference call organized by B'Tselem and the fringe group Ta'anit Tzedek (Jewish Fast for Gaza). To equate January's Gaza confrontation aimed at eliminating rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with the genocide in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have been murdered, and systematic mass rapes and torture are a daily horror is an affront.

As the Volokh Conspiracy's David Bernstein commented about the immoral tenor of these claims: "[Reasonable people would not think] to analogize Israel's action in Gaza to the wars in Congo and Sudan to begin with." If any further proof was needed, HRW has clearly lost its moral foundations.
Given that the President of what is still (despite him) the most powerful nation in the world has compared the plight of the 'Palestinians' to the Holocaust, should we really be surprised that the world's pre-eminent human rights advocate has an anti-Israel obsession and makes the same kind of comparisons?


At 9:59 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Robert Bernstein didn't say free societies shouldn't be held accountable. What he did say is HRW has failed to hold the world's worst human rights abusers accountable. And now Israel serves as an all convenient alibi for not pursuing that objective.

What could go wrong indeed

At 10:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I should add by way of follow-up the other point that you omitted from your post and which I agreed with upon reading the article is that in its zealous embrace of Goldstone, HRW has sided with every dictatorship and tyranny on the planet. In contrast, every democracy on the UNHRC, with the shameful exceptions of the UK and France, voted against Goldstone. There is a qualitative moral difference between repressive and free societies. In its anti-Israel obsession, HRW has lost sight of it and its director Ken Roth is wrong to write his group's critics are merely attacking the messenger. They are attacking the morally bankrupt message it bears as well.


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