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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bashing Israel on Human Rights

The Morning Editon of The Slate Dozen has this:

Robert Bernstein, who was the chairman of Humans Right Watch for 20 years and one of its original founders, writes an op-ed for the New York Times where he says he's forced to "do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group's critics." The group's goals have always been to advocate for open societies and support dissenters, but it has recently been "helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state." Although the group has always known that open societies can commit abuses, it also knew that the way to correct these problems was through public debate. In a closed society, such debate isn't even possible. But now, Human Rights Watch increasingly "casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies," particularly in the Middle East. The organization has repeatedly condemned Israel for violating international law while not paying as much attention to the region's authoritarian regimes. Whatever you may think of Israel, the truth is that it is home to a free press and lots of human rights organizations, something that most of its neighbors can't say. Ultimately, Human Rights Watch "has lost critical perspective" on the Israel-Palestine conflict and now risks undermining its credibility.

Read Bernstein's Opinion in the NYT here.

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