Thursday, August 13, 2009

Human Rights Watch: When it Comes to Real Human Rights, It's a Stopped Watch

By Barry Rubin

Today, Human Rights Watch, an organization which seems mainly devoted in watching for ways to slander Israel, came out with its third straight report attacking Israel's actions during the Gaza War.

While these reports sound impressive when quoted in news articles, when you actually read the text you see they are based on the claims of Palestinian witnesses who have a high motive for making Israel look bad. In other words, they are merely the conveyance of propaganda. In addition, the "military expertise" of their researchers is often laughable, getting wrong basic facts about equipment and how armies function.

Please remember, too, that as of today not a single incident even approaching a war crime or serious mispractice has been proven against Israel's operation in Gaza. Since the same holds true for Israel's operation in southern Lebanon, three years ago, that tells you how phony these charges are.

The latest report claims that Israel fired on Palestinians carrying white flags. Whether these incidents actually happened is quite questionable. After all, unless you assume that Israelis are war criminals who enjoy murdering unarmed Palestinians for fun why should soldiers do so? One thing people who have never been in combat situations don't understand is that soldiers are focused on threats that might end their live within the next few seconds.

The IDF has a lot of other things to do with its time and Human Rights Watch refused to give it an advance copy of the report so it could check the allegations. But already they've found one video which shows how Hamas gunmen use pre-organized crowds carrying white flags to convoy the fighters who are cornered or just in a bad position to other places where they can fire on Israeli soldiers more effectively:

Here is some interesting aerial footage taken on January 8 where you can see a Hamas terrorist plant an anti-personnel explosive device, climb into a civilian residence and then hide amongst the civilians when they exit the building waving a white flag. See here.

A response of NGO Watch to the report here

By the way, the co-author of the report is Joe Stork, a man who has spent 40 years of his life working to destroy Israel. Before being at the Watch he headed a Marxist group supporting revolutionary and terrorist organizations in the region against both Israel and the United States. This says a great deal about the nature of Human Rights' Watch's work.

Will Human Rights Watch look into matters like this? No. Unfortunately, when it comes to real human rights' violations, this group--which was recently caught trying to raise funds in Saudi Arabia by showing how anti-Israel it has been--is a stopped watch.

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