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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pinch me... I think I must be dreaming

The founder and former head of Human Rights Watch wrote an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times yesterday that defies belief.  He actually criticized the organization for ignoring what he called "brutal, closed and autocratic" Arab and Iranian regimes while publishing "far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region".

You must read the whole thing, but this is a bit that I especially enjoyed:

"Israel, with a population of 7.4 million, is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and, judging by the amount of news coverage, probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world — many of whom are there expressly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.

Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields. These groups are supported by the government of Iran, which has openly declared its intention not just to destroy Israel but to murder Jews everywhere. This incitement to genocide is a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

Seriously... read the whole thing.  It'll make your day!

Hat tip Dave

Posted by David Bogner on October 20, 2009 | Permalink


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I read the piece in the Times this morning with my fresh ground Indonesian Sumatra Coffee brewed in my Bodum 4 cup French Press for exactly 3 minutes 45 seconds. I almost did a Danny Thomas all over the table.
But towards the end, he makes it a little more understandable. HRW changed focus, from government repression of its own population to conduct of a government in relation to any number of campaigns it undertakes. This article, coupled with the testimony you cited yesterday by that British officer, who BTW is one of the foremost experts on the conduct of warfare anywhere, demonstrates that among professional military people and diplomats, there is a backlash taking place to incendiary anti Israel propaganda that has been proven to advance no one towards peace.
As someone who is perfectly willing to criticize Israel when I feel it has done wrong, I am gratified to see this article as well as a growing realization that there only path to peace lies in recognizing the fundamental shape of relations in the Middle East.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Oct 20, 2009 6:40:00 PM

What is going ON over at the NYT??? I am sure you saw this as well over at the Muqata: http://muqata.blogspot.com/2009/10/nytimes-force-works-better-than.html Either they've been possessed by a pro-Israel dybbuk, or Moshiach is coming.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Oct 20, 2009 6:42:31 PM

I normally don't post political links on my Facebook page, such as it is. (I have colleagues from work and personal acquaintances on my friends list, and it is considered bad form and socially unwise to discuss religion or politics) But I had to post this NY Times op-ed today. It's a keeper. Lucid, matter-of-fact and completely devastating. Props, brownie points and hat tip to Ba'al Lashon for flagging it.

Posted by: Ari | Oct 20, 2009 8:03:10 PM

The NYT finally figures it out.

Posted by: David Bailey | Oct 20, 2009 8:15:36 PM

Thanks for this amazing Op-Ed.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Oct 20, 2009 10:31:18 PM

Sweet! Thanks for sharing this. :)

Posted by: Chantal | Oct 20, 2009 11:37:54 PM

I thought this was great.

As an FYI, you can read the followup in the editorial replies section in today's NY Times.


Posted by: J K | Oct 21, 2009 7:35:34 PM

I am sure at some point Fred is going to pull the human mask off of the NYT writer, revealing Lockerbie the Groundskeeper, who will say something ending in " -- and I would have gotten away with writing a pro-Israeli op-ed piece in the Times IF IT WEREN'T FOR YOU MEDDLING KIDS" ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 22, 2009 7:33:00 AM

Wry Mouth ... Hee hee, nothing like a good Scooby Doo reference to put a smile on my face in the mornng! :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 22, 2009 8:05:54 AM

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