Human Rights Watch Founder Joins Group's Critics

Goldstone moral equivalence cartoon

Yuman Rites group derailment:

Human Rights Watch founder Richard Bernstein today joins the organization’s critics. He writes in the New York Times:

When I stepped aside in 1998, Human Rights Watch was active in 70 countries, most of them closed societies. Now the organization, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.

Israel, with a population of 7.4 million, is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and, judging by the amount of news coverage, probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world — many of whom are there expressly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.

For more on how HRW has lost its way, see here and here. H/T Snapshots

Carl in J’lem: Media Backspin points out:

Chappatte [the cartoonist. CiJ] and Goldstone’s moral equivalence breaks down when you realize that after some 8,000 rockets, Sderot is the most heavily bombed place in the world.

Well, why should that be taken into account? After all, Goldstone barely mentioned it in his report!