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Saturday, June 20, 2009

NGO Monitor reports: HRW raises funds in Saudi Arabia by demonizing Israel. How low can they go?

In May 2009, leaders of Human Rights Watch (HRW) visited Saudi Arabia - one of the major violators of the norms that HRW claims to promote - to raise funds for the organization.  Arab news reported that "senior members" of HRW - including Middle East Division director Sarah Leah Whitson, and Hassan Elmasry, a member of the International Board of Directors and the ME Division's Advisory Committee - attended a "welcoming dinner" and encouraged "prominent members of Saudi society" to finance their work.  HRW's anti-Israel obsession was stated as the major reason for holding this Saudi fundraiser: "The group is facing a shortage of funds because of the global financial crisis and the work on Israel and Gaza, which depleted HRW's budget for the region."

Whitson's appeal for Saudi support and money acknowledged and cited HRW's anti-Israel focus extensively, claiming that "Human Rights Watch provided the international community with evidence of Israel using white phosphorus and launching systematic destructive attacks on civilian targets." As NGO Monitor's systematical analysis demonstrated, HRW's allegations were based on false and unsupported claims. But in pitching HRW to the Saudis, Whitson invoked the canard of "pro-Israel pressure groups," which, she declared, "strongly resisted the report and tried to discredit it."

Similarly, Whitson told the Saudi leaders about HRW's role in anti-Israel activities in the US Congress and the United Nations, boasting that this propaganda campaign was instrumental in the UN's "fact-finding mission to investigate the allegations of serious Israeli violations during the war on Gaza," to be headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, who was also a member of HRW's board at the time. (He resigned after the investigation began; as NGO Monitor noted, his membership on HRW's board was a conflict of interest.)..

Human Rights: It's all a matter of marketing.

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Human Rights Watch Uses Its Anti-Israel Cred to Raise Saudi Funding.

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» Human Rights Watch Evasions at the blog Solomonia

An interesting exchange between Jeffrey Goldberg and HRW's Ken Roth in which Roth hems and haws and jives and dodges rather than admit that yes, Human Rights Watch did plug its anti-Israel bona fides to do fundraising in Saudi Arabia:... Read More



2 Comments

There is a joke in Hebrew about a life guard in a swimming pool chasing away one of the swimmers for urinating in the pool.

“So what? Everyone urinates in the pool”, protests the culprit.

“Yes, indeed”, agrees the life guard, "But not from the top of the diving board”.

Apparently, HRW not only does not bother masking its anti-Israel bias; it boasts of it, uses it as a lure to get the appropriate constituencies for such a bias to give it moneys.

I don't know, is this a legitimate criticism of Israel, or is this antisemitism?

Thoroughly disgusting.

wasnt the white phosphorous story even admitted to be false by the UN?

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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