On September 8, Omri Ceren (MereRhetoric) published a detailed report showing that Human Rights Watch’s “senior military expert” and coauthor of numerous reports condemning Israel, Marc Garlasco, is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia. 

This revelation follows NGO Monitor’s research report on HRW’s pattern of false and unsupported claims used to condemn Israel, and a history of anti-Israel ideology among HRW officials.

HRW’s response falsely characterizes Garlasco as a serious “student of military history” and ignores the obvious moral implications of his central role in serial condemnations of Israel

This offensive and intolerable practice reinforces the need for an independent investigation of HRW’s employment and decision making practices, particularly regarding the Middle East.

NGO Monitor’s analysis of HRW’s defense shows that:

  • Obsessive collecting of Nazi memorabilia is not an innocuous hobby. Writer Susan Sontag likens this to pornography and the Simon Wiesenthal Center notes it “glorifies the horrors of Nazi Germany”.
  • Garlasco has posted thousands of comments on Nazi memorabilia sites including Germancombatawards (981 posts) and Wehrmacht-awards (7735 posts). 
  • Garlasco’s “historical research” is a 430-page tome on swastika-adorned Nazi-era medals; its publisher’s website is ironcross1939.
  • In a 2005 comment, responding to a posting of a photo of a leather SS jacket, Garlasco wrote, “That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!”  The jacket owner replies, “Great feedback mein Freund! . . . Gott mit uns [God is with us]!]. 
  • This obsession accompanies HRW’s practice of greatly exaggerating Garlasco’s qualifications as its senior “military expert”, and removes any remaining credibility from numerous reports on Israel (including on the Gaza conflict) that he co-authored.
  • The use of Garlasco’s biased and false accusations of war crimes, based on claimed technical expertise and the ability to conduct scientific forensic examinations, is libelous.

Click here to read the report 


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