Throughout 2009 Human Rights Watch (HRW) continued its disproportionate focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, advancing repeated allegations of Israeli violations.

NGO Monitor’s annual review of HRW, with quantitative and qualitative analysis of HRW’s activities in 2009, shows that:

  • Publications on “Israel and the OPT” comprised 28 percent of HRW’s total Mideast output in 2009. Israel received more attention than Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, and other chronic human rights abusers.


  • HRW also allocated highly disproportionate resources to promoting the UN “fact-finding” mission of former board member Richard Goldstone. The 34 pro-Goldstone publications out-numbered documents on all the countries in the Middle East, except Israel and Iran.


  • Scandals included its fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia stressing HRW’s anti-Israel focus; the revelation that its “senior military analyst”, Marc Garlasco, is an obsessive collector of Nazi memorabilia; and founder Robert Bernstein’s New York Times op-ed, decrying the organization’s role in “turn[ing] Israel into a pariah state” and its loss of “critical perspective” on Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah.


  • HRW has taken no action to implement Bernstein’s appeal to “resurrect itself as a moral force in the Middle East,” or the call from NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board (including Elie Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz) to “institute a full independent review and reform in the organization.”

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