Monday, 3 August 2009

Amnesty International and HRW "experts" in international law in armed conflicts

"When the Cold War ended, HRW and its London-based twin - Amnesty International - adjusted their agendas to maintain influence and donations. They redefined themselves by claiming expertise they do not have on international law in armed conflicts, and their obsessive condemnations of Israel endeared them to the UN, while keeping HRW in the headlines."

Helsinki Watch (now Human Rights Watch) was established in New York by Robert Bernstein in 1978, primarily to lead the struggle on behalf of prisoners of conscience caught behind the Iron Curtain, including Soviet Jews like Anatoly (now Natan) Sharansky. Bernstein and his colleagues were liberal Democrats, and this was a bold move in this environment. One can easily imagine the attacks in speeches and columns (this was long before the Internet and blogosphere) from unreformed Stalinists on the far left condemning Bernstein's ideological treachery, and labeling Helsinki Watch as a Nixonian anticommunist tool.

But the world has changed, and HRW officials and their die-hard supporters are today's ideological dinosaurs. When the Cold War ended, HRW and its London-based twin - Amnesty International - adjusted their agendas to maintain influence and donations. They redefined themselves by claiming expertise they do not have on international law in armed conflicts, and their obsessive condemnations of Israel endeared them to the UN, while keeping HRW in the headlines. They were embraced by the anti-Zionist post-colonialists who maintain the flame and adrenalin in the Left-Right battles that raged during the Cold War.

These primitive Manichean ideologues have now come to the defense of HRW, after the NGO's leaders have been exposed for using biased and inaccurate "research reports" slamming Israel to solicit funds in Saudi Arabia. Now, as in the Cold War days, the main strategy is to ignore the substance and defame opponents, real or artificial.

Read the whole piece here (op-ed by Gerald Steinberg in JPost

- Amnesty Anti-Israel Obsession Continues to Undermine Moral Principles
- Did HRW and Amnesty protest at giving Ahmadinejad a platform at Durban II?
- "Amnesty ... let the Jews down in Durban", Simon Wiesenthal Center
- Amnesty International: Abolishing Israel's Right to Self Defense
- Amnesty’s obsession with Israel
- European NGO Amnesty International: relentless and disproportionate focus on Israeli "violations"

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Forget even Georgia. 20000 Tamils disappeared during the same time period as the Gaza war.

Not a peep from HRW on that one.