Human Rights Watch (HRW) receives unprecedented public criticism for its attacks on Israeli actions


Human Rights Watch (HRW) and its Executive Director, Kenneth Roth have faced an unprecedented barrage of public criticism in the wake of the Lebanon war, focused on the credibility of the NGO’s research and its determination to distort human rights norms to demonize Israel.

Alan Dershowitz concluded that “Human Rights Watch no longer deserves the support of real human rights advocates. Nor should its so-called reporting be credited by objective news organizations”, while Abraham Foxman of ADL argued that HRW “is either irrelevant or immoral, or maybe both.’ Dr. Avi Bell continued his exposure of Roth’s biases in a Jerusalem Post oped that decried HRW’s “dubious or fabricated evidence” and “biased … unprofessional behavior,” while the New York Sun criticized Roth for “twisting the facts,” stating that “he’s trying to have it both ways – claiming, on the one hand, that he’s got lots of authoritative researchers investigating Israeli war crimes while, on the other hand, claiming that he only has one person devoted half-time to Israel.”

These analyses and opeds are examples of a much wider examination of HRW’s political stance in the context of the war involving Israel and Hizbollah (see NGO Monitor’s summary of NGO Responses to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict).

Relevant articles published to date include:

Gerald M. Steinberg, “Ken Roth’s blood libel,” The Jerusalem Post, August 26, 2006.

Alan M. Dershowitz, “First Word: What is ‘Human Rights Watch’ watching?” The Jerusalem Post, August 24, 2006. (Also published in New York Sun, August 23, 2006.)

Avi Bell, “Whose war crimes in Lebanon?” The Jerusalem Post, August 23, 2006.

Editorial, “Roth’s latest,” The New York Sun, August 23, 2006.

Human Rights Watch executive director skewered,” The American Thinker, August 23, 2006.

August 21, 2006, Gerald M. Steinberg: Letter to the editor of Jerusalem Post in response to Kenneth Roth’s editorial “Indiscriminate bombardment,” August 17, 2006.

Editorial, “Roth’s False God,” The New York Sun, August 8, 2006.

Abraham Foxman, “No Accident,” The New York Sun, August 2, 2006.

Jeremy Sharon, “Does Human Rights Watch Consider Sri Lankan Life Worth Less Than Lebanese?”,, August 2, 2006.

Exchange of letters between Avi Bell and Kenneth Roth, HRW’s Executive Director, The New York Sun, July 31, 2006.

Dr. Avi Bell, “Human Rights Watch’s Q&A on Lebanon War: Selective and Distorted Application of International Law,” The New York Sun, July 23, 2006.

Sarah Mandel, “Human Rights Watch Targets Israel”,, July 20, 2006.

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