Investigating HRW's Credibility in the Wake of the Garlasco Affair
Human Rights Watch’s reported suspension of its senior military expert, Marc Garlasco, is a belated recognition of the need for an independent investigation, not only of the individual involved, but more importantly, of HRW
Beyond Garlasco’s activities and statements surrounding his Nazi memorabilia collection, this investigation should examine the HRW employment process, and the credibility of the numerous reports and related activities in which he played a central role. In particular, this detailed and external review should examine the veracity of reports on Israel which Garlasco co-authored and presented at press conferences, and which included repeated condemnations using terms such as "war crimes", "violation of international law", etc. These allegations promoted the campaign to isolate
For a number of years, NGO Monitor has identified numerous claims in Garlasco
NGO Monitor has not found any independent sources to support Garlasco
The specific HRW reports and statements which were based on Garlasco
Â• Razing Rafah (October 2004)
Â• Gaza Beach (June 2006)
- Cluster Munitions (“Flooding
- Civilian Casualties (“Why They Died”)
- White Phosphorous (“Rain of Fire”)
- Drones (“Precisely Wrong”)
As NGO Monitor analyses have demonstrated, each of these cases includes technical "evidence" which is clearly false. Examples include the claims regarding weapons systems discussed in the white phosphorous (“Rain of Fire”) and drone reports (“Precisely Wrong”) concerning the Gaza war, and the extensive discussion of tunneling detection technology in the 2004 report (“Razing Rafah”).
There are also many examples of entirely speculative claims in Garlasco
Analysis of HRW
NGO Monitor’s President, Prof Gerald Steinberg said “Garlasco
HRW’s reliance on Garlasco’s supposed ‘expertise’ raises enormous questions over the credibility of their activities. It reflects an organization that has consistently placed ideology above professionalism and universal human rights values.”
Click here to view NGO Monitor’s report “Experts or Ideologues?”
Click here to view the NGO Monitor review of HRW’s 2008 activities
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Lawrence A. Franklin
There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
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Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
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"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.