Human Rights Watch Criticized for Intifada Link

by Laurence on 3/27/2005 · 4 comments

NGO Monitor has criticized Human Rights Watch for hiring Lucy Mair, a contributor to the “Electronic Intifada.”

Kenneth Roth has once again demonstrated his policy of filling HRW’s Middle East department with like-minded politicized individuals whose priorities are not in keeping with the promotion of universal human rights values.

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Jeremy Pine March 27, 2005 at 1:16 pm

If you are going to post a quote from this group, I think that it’s VERY important that you point out the bias of NGO Monitor. It’s essentially an Isreali propaganda outlet whose sole function is to critisize NGOs and international organiztions that may report negatively on Isreal’s Palistine policies. NGO Monitor goes on the defensive with the UN, Human Rights Watch, and even Amnesty International – claiming that their reports of human rights abuses are merely anti-semitism.

Nathan March 27, 2005 at 1:47 pm

Jeremy, even a broken clock is right twice a day. For organizations that ostensibly have a dispassionate interest in promoting human rights wherever they need promotion, both HRW and AI have shown quite a bit of zeal in their criticism of not just the US and Israel, but countries allied with the US. Pre-9/11, for example, HRW had little to say about Uzbekistan. They now have much more to say, and their criticism paints a poor picture of what’s going on there. They’ve jumped to conclusions and been proven wrong and ignored positive resolutions of some of their pet cases because the US government proved instrumental in their resolution.

Even if NGO Monitor seeks to defend Israel (your description of it as propaganda tears away the curtain of your bias…), that’s not to say that Israel isn’t unfairly criticized or that the human rights industry’s (and it is an industry) primary product is not criticism of the US and its allies.

Laurence March 28, 2005 at 8:45 am

Good answer, Nathan!

Jeremy Pine October 13, 2005 at 11:06 am

Better a late reponse than never, eh?

The reason why I characterize NGO Monitor as propaganda is that do actually monitor NGOs in general, only with regard to Isreali-Palistinian relations. They do not have a system in place for monitoring and evaluation of the NGOs whose reports they target.

Their criticism of these organizations rarely disputes facts, only positions. NGO Monitor’s “reports” essentially condemn any organization that has connections to any Palestinian groups. If you read their “Summary of NGOS A-Z” you see that they find fault with any funding organization that is connected to media outlets that project a negative view of Isreal in the international media.

This promotion of a negative view is conflated with being against universal human rights.

Were NGO Monitor and organization that promoted media that took in all sides of the conflict, or profiled even one anti-Palestinian organization in Isreal as being a deterent to the peace process, I would not classify it as propaganda.

Yes, we all know that HRW and AI have a bias, because it is impossible to have an unbiased opinon. Perhaps their hiring of Ms. Mair was unwise – it would be hard to judge without seeing the extent of her scholarhship.

However, I feel that your citing of NGO Monitor as a credible monitoring body without any context was unwise as well.

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