Saturday 14 February 2009

For HRW, Israel 2nd worst abuser of human rights in the Middle East

NGO Monitor report: "Examining Human Rights Watch in 2008: Double Standards and Post-Colonial Ideology"


- Quantitiative analysis of HRW's publications in 2008 reflect the portrayal of Israel as the second worst abuser of human rights in the Middle East. Only Saudi Arabia received more attention, with chronic human rights abusers Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt receiving less.

- Analysis of HRW's use of international legal and human rights terminology to condemn Middle Eastern states demonstrates unjustified emphasis that singles out Israel. HRW ignores Palestinian terrorists' use of human shields.

- In 2008, Israel and the Palestinians were the only countries in the Middle East region suspected or accused of "war crimes" by HRW: Israel on six occasions, and the Palestinians in one instance for suicide bombings. HRW placed Israel on par with Sudan, leaders from the former Yugoslavia, Congo and Uganda.

- In 2008 HRW does not call for the release of, or Red Cross access to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

- Israel was condemned for violations of "human rights law", "humanitarian law", or "international humanitarian law" (IHL) 33 times, compared with 13 citations for the Palestinians, 6 for Hezbollah and 5 for Egypt.

- The evidence suggests that HRW's Middle East personnel approach the Israeli- Palestinian conflict from a post-colonialist ideological perspective, rendering Israel a special case in the Middle East. The double standards and political bias expressed by senior HRW officials in the Middle East Division reinforces this interpretation (see examples below). And the significantly different tone exhibited when reports on Israel involve other HRW departments, indicates that personal political agendas influence reporting. This is clear for Sarah Leah Whitson, Joe Stork, Marc Garlasco, Lucy Mair, and in the addition of Nadia Barhoum in 2008.

- This report includes quantitative analyses of publications from HRW's Middle East and North Africa section, using a weighted scale methodology consistent with NGO Monitor's previous analyses, and an assessment of the use of language in HRW's publications.

Full report here
PA Tortures Journalists, by Khaled Abu Toameh

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