Watchdog: Human Rights Watch ‘Deeply Implicated in BDS and Other Forms of Political Warfare’ Against Israel
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is “deeply implicated in BDS and other forms of political warfare” against the Jewish state, a watchdog group said on Friday, following the news that the Israeli government had rejected a HRW request for a work permit for its regional director.
“For two decades, Human Rights Watch has been one of the most blatant and aggressive anti-Israel NGOs in the world,” Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of Israel-based NGO Monitor, said in a statement. “Their defenders need to ask why they systematically hire pro-BDS activists for key Israel-related ‘research’ positions, while lobbying to isolate Israel through false allegations.”
In a letter explaining its decision to not grant a work permit to Omar Shakir — HRW’s New York-based Israel and Palestine country director — the Israeli Interior Ministry said HRW reports “have engaged in politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda, while falsely raising the banner of ‘human rights.’”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called HRW a “blatantly hostile anti-Israeli organization whose reports have the sole purpose of harming Israel with no consideration whatsoever for the truth or reality.”
Iain Levine — deputy executive director of program at HRW — criticized the Israeli move, saying in a statement, “This decision and the spurious rationale should worry anyone concerned about Israel’s commitment to basic democratic values. It is disappointing that the Israeli government seems unable or unwilling to distinguish between justified criticisms of its actions and hostile political propaganda.”
According to NGO Monitor, Shakir is a “consistent supporter of a one-state framework and advocate for BDS tactics, fitting the longstanding HRW practice of hiring anti-Israel activists to serve in key positions relating to Israel.”
Steinberg stated, “The only ‘shocking’ aspect of this incident is that HRW, despite repeated exposure, continues its unprofessional and obsessive practices. If HRW and its backers wish to be taken seriously, they need to start acting in a manner consistent with the principles of universal human rights, including with respect to Israel.”