Thursday, August 6, 2009

Human Rights Watch Watch

I have now completed a first draft of an article about Israel's report on the Gaza Operation. I hope to put it online today or tomorrow. Part of it - a small but significant part - deals with our own so-called "human rights organizations" (they are actually nothing of the sort in any meaningful way). But I admit I haven't been blogging much about the ongoing disgrace of Human Rights Watch.

Upon reflection, perhaps I don't need to. These guys (here and here) are doing a fine job, and what could I add?


Soccer Dad said...

via Dion Nissenbaum:

The groups, including B'Tselem, Gisha and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said the testimony from the soldiers places "a large question mark over the 'most moral army in the world' image."

Lately what we've been seeing has placed a large question mark over the 'human rights' industry.

Anonymous said...

But aren't you troubled by the way the soldiers' testimonies have been met by Israeli society and even the Israeli government? Shouldn't we be having an open, searching discussion about them, rather than trying to "blame the messenger"?

Soccer Dad said...

A few months ago we heard that there were serious allegations against the IDF. In about a week's time, the head of the school in which those charges originated acknowledged that the charges were hearsay.

The latest round of allegations sound a lot more like crying wolf than credible charges.

Yaacov said...

Israeli society has responded far more admirably than, say, American society to the killings of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.It has also responded in a way commensureate to the facts of the case.

Anyway, the official report on the operation (I'll post my review of it later today) documents that Israel's investigative tools and processes are better than those of most democratic countries, and equal the best of them. Thee is no one in the world who can legitimately demand of us more than they demand of their own systems.

Anonymous said...

Human Rights Watch has finally published a document about war crimes by Gazan terror groups. It is very incomplete and fails to identify a wide variety of war crimes in which Hamas engaged, fails to measure the true scope of the Hamas war crimes, fails to identify the purposeful nature of attacks on kindergartens with Grad rockets (which can be aimed), fails to identify Hamas abuse of UN facilities and vehicles, etc.

But as far as I know, this report represents the first instance in which HRW clearly states that Hamas not only committed war crimes but admitted repeatedly to carrying out acts that are indisputably war crimes. The report also document the fact that Gazan terrorists knowingly fired rockets from a Gaza power plant (drawing return fire), explicitly states that their own actions turned the power plant into a legitimate military target and makes some sane (though very, very, very belated) statements about the nature of "proportionality" in the law of war.

I definitely recommend reading this one. My main question is why HRW waited for 8 years to write this report.

(Lest I forget to mention this, the report repeats characterizations of Israel's conduct which are pointless in context and which are problematical, e.g. blaming Israel for striking Hamas terrorists who were heading toward an attack on Israel; this is not a pro-Israel document; and the report absurdly calls for the UN to abide by the slanted findings of the UNHRC's "kangaroo court." But I'll let that pass for now).

- Zvi