Saturday, June 20, 2009

Human Rights Watch: Urinating from the Diving Board


"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.)

Whitson also visited Libya in April, praising the totalitarian regime for its “spirit of reform,” and wrote about this visit in the publication, Foreign Policy." (Source)

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”.

What it means is that some contemptible or at least unbecoming behaviours are done by lots of people, but those who indulge in such mischiefs at least have the grace to feel ashamed about it, enough to try to keep it as much as possible out of sight of public knowledge.

When, however, someone is caught with practically their pants down, oblivious to the odiousness of his or her behaviour, then we are dealing with some sort of psychosis, the death of shame, or awareness of indecency. It is one thing when a mentally disturbed person behaves inappropriately. It is quite a different matter when such behaviour is deliberately taken up by people who have full command of their faculties. It is no longer a behaviour. It is a calculated, purposeful policy.

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

I don't know what you may call such fund-raising policies, legitimate criticism of Israel?

The minds that yield this kind of evil fruit, what could they be producing next?

2 Comments:

At 1:08 PM EDT, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

They are only discrediting theirselves.

Human Rights Watch funded by Wahabi Saudis blah blah blah...

They know who butters their bread.

Good to see you back in action.

 
At 2:06 PM EDT, Anonymous TNC said...

Welcome back, Noga. I kept coming over to visit (and read) and was wondering if you were on vacation or something. I hope all is well with you and yours.

--TNC

 

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