RIGHTS GONE WRONG

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

Hu­man Rights Watch ( Com­ment, Oc­to­ber 16) was founded over 30 years ago with the ad­mirable aim of pro­tect­ing po­lit­i­cal dis­si­dents from op­pres­sive regimes, but to­day its leaders have lost sight of its orig­i­nal ethos. Nowhere more so than in re­gard to the Mid­dle East.

In a re­gion dom­i­nated by regimes that hor­ren­dously vi­o­late hu­man rights, HRW has in­stead cho­sen to sin­gle out Is­rael for con­dem­na­tion, of­ten us­ing un­re­li­able and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated wit­nesses to do so. Not only have they failed to al­lo­cate proper re­sources to mon­i­tor­ing the dic­ta­tor­ships that are rife through­out the re­gion but se­nior HRW of­fi­cials even re­cently went to Riyadh to raise funds from peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the Saudi regime, em­pha­sis­ing HRW’s work de­mon­is­ing Is­rael while do­ing so.

It has also been re­vealed that HRW’s MidEast divi­sion deputy di­rec­tor sup­ported com­ments sym­pa­thetic to the 1972 Mu­nich Olympic mas­sacre of Is­raeli ath­letes, and HRW’s “se­nior mil­i­tary an­a­lyst” for the MidEast is an avid col­lec­tor of Nazi mem­o­ra­bilia which he re­ferred to as “so cool” .

In or­der that HRW can once again ful­fil the role for which it was cre­ated, we call upon HRW’s board mem­bers to in­sti­tute a full in­de­pen­dent re­view of the or­gan­i­sa­tion for which they are re­spon­si­ble.

This should in­clude ur­gently re­view­ing the con­duct of those se­nior of­fi­cials, par­tic­u­larly in the Mid­dle East divi­sion, who have been in­stru­men­tal in HRW’s de­cline, and the adop­tion of firm guide­lines to pre­vent such abuses in fu­ture. Elie Wiesel; (Pro­fes­sor) Alan Der­showitz; R. James Woolsey; El­liott Abrams; (Pro­fes­sor) Judea Pearl; Tom Gross; Dou­glas Mur­ray In­ter­na­tional Ad­vi­sory Board mem­bers c/o dan.kosky@ngo-mon­i­tor.org

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