Human Rights Watch
Jan 6th 2011
Friends of Israel have long fumed over what they felt was the human rights community’s disproportionate and unfair criticism of the Jewish state: Major rights organizations typically portray Israel as among the cruelest of nations, while this planet’s actual dictatorships and tyrannies get wrist slaps.
Last year, this charge was bolstered by scandals engulfing Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO behemoth with an annual budget of $44 million.
Robert L. Bernstein, HRW’s founder and a former
chairman, blasted his own organization in The New York Times for obsessively
HRW used Bernstein’s criticism to raise funds from
What’s the basis
of Roth’s selectivity? A study published in Foreign Policy by two university
We have proposed a theory – The Human Rights Complex – to explain this human rights “selectivity.” Western rights groups, predominantly composed of decent white folks, seek to scold behavior they deem immoral – but only when it’s committed by people like themselves. When confronted with evil committed by non-Westerners, rights advocates avert their eyes. Off the record, rights activists explain that Westerners don’t have moral standing to criticize “others.” “We,” after all, stole the land from the Indians, enslaved blacks, invaded other countries or what have you. In truth, however, in today’s PC world, criticizing the “other” invites painful accusations of bigotry, racism and Islamophobia. Criticizing your own is saintly. HRW’s recent Saudi visit did not establish this long settled policy. It was simply meant to monetize it.
But who’s the
real victim here? While these virtue-seeking folks march under the banner of
“not in my name,” as they morally preen in the hope of ridding themselves of
the taint of “Western crimes,” they do enormous damage, yes to Israelis and
Americans, but much more to the millions of victims of non-Western oppressors
their much touted “compassion” conveniently ignores.
HRW’s treatment of
You might think black slaves would be a top priority for an American rights champion. But there’s a problem. While the slaves are African, their masters are not white Europeans; they are Arab-Berber Muslims.
HRW knows all
this but won’t tell anybody. Its reports have mentioned slavery in
once – just once – did tell the truth. In 1994, HRW’s
Africa bureau made it clear that slavery in
The human rights
movement, founded in response to the civilized world’s failure to act during
the Holocaust, was originally dedicated to Western values of freedom – and a
universal standard of human conduct. No more. After valiantly fighting Soviet
tyranny, the rights movement morphed into its current anti-Western posture.
Once, in the 1990s, HRW told the world that Arabs have black slaves. That
report actually led to a popular movement in the
This article was first published in The Jewish Advocate