In spite of being lambasted by Alan Dershowitz, Ken Roth at Human Rights Watch (HRW) seem to be determined to make a fool of himself.
Check out their report on, “the ‘hoax’ that wasn’t”.
Then check out Zombietime’s refutation
I read the two reports, and it is very clear to me that Zombietime has considered more evidence, in a more balanced fashion, and in more detail. Indeed, Zombietime takes care to go through the HRW report, dealing with every single point they make in painstaking detail.
His report makes it pretty clear that HRW’s report tries to “snow” the reader by either burying, or mis-representing important and useful evidence, so that they can slant the reader to their view.
This contrast also makes clear immense power of collaborative, distributed efforts such as Wikipedia, the blogosphere and others. Zombietime’s work is the result of many minds intent on uncovering the truth – where as HRW’s effort is clearly the result of a few minds who want to reach a certain conclusion.
Of course, if you are on the side of hezbollah and the terrorists, the HRW report gives plenty of (false) ammunition for your point of view. It just guts me that I can count some of their supporters (Upper West & Upper East Side liberals) as my friends.
Perhaps Human Rights Watch are changing their tune. I recently read a post in Solomonia quoting Jeff Robbins, a former US delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Jeff Robbins writes in the Boston Herald:
But we have a right to expect more of the human rights community which, like the United Nations, continues to ignore the obvious when it comes to the Middle East. In its zeal to criticize Israel, it has substituted political fashion for clear and honest thinking. The inhabitants of the Middle East suffer as a result, and the cause of human rights suffers as well.
Which would have been my description of Human Right’s Watch entirely. Upon revieing HRW’s site on “Israel and the Occupied Territories” sic. (I prefer the term “Disputed Territories”), it appears that they have started criticizing the other side – for using human shields, for cluster bombs and other abuses. Of course, it does not excuse the biased report on the ambulances – but it does suggest that the pressure being exerted on Human Right’s Watch is working.
It appears to me that Ken Roth is in a difficult boat. He’s a very intelligent man, and he knows very clearly what the palestinian abuses are. But he wins kudos in the United Nations, and amongst some of his funders by bashing Israel and its friends. Thus, impartiality is compromised by the need to get funded. But the pressure exerted on him by Dershowitz and others requires him to tread a finer line. So now the production of reports on Israeli human rights violations – real and imagined has to be balanced with at least some reporting on palestinian abuses.
The good news is that pressure – from Dershowitz, the blogosphere and others is working.