Michael Totten

From Munich to Gaza

For a long time now I’ve thought Human Rights Watch produced more reliable reports than Amnesty International, though after reading “this”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/76201 I may need to re-evaluate my opinion.
UPDATE: I posted the link above when I was short on time. For those of you who don’t feel like clicking on it, the gist is that the author of a recent Human Rights Watch report about Israeli soldiers in Gaza supported the infamous massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics by terrorists in the Palestinian Liberation Organization. And that’s just for starters.
David T at the leftist British blog Harry’s Place “is aghast”:http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/08/17/human-rights-watch-and-the-veteran-extremist/ at Human Rights Watch, an organization that perhaps should change its name.

Assuming that this is all correct, hiring a very extreme Communist, with simply horrendous views about Israel/Palestine to produce a report of this sort is akin hiring a man who was formerly active in the KKK to write about black people and crime. Fundraising for this sort of work in Saudi Arabia is like taking cash for this enterprise from the old Apartheid South Africa.
There is a value in impartial and properly researched criticism of the conduct of combatants in armed conflicts. However, by hiring a man whose ideological background is vicious, at least in the case of Israel, they have utterly disqualified themselves from performing this important task.

UPDATE: David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy has published “a limited defense of Joe Stork”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_08_16-2009_08_22.shtml#1250601131.