Query to Joe et al.: HRW Middle East Report Analyzed for Bias by NGO Monitor

One of the commenters at this site has written the following in response to my comment that HRW had a notoriously bad reputation for the reliability of its testimony as analyzed by NGO Monitor:

‘Notorious’ only in the sense that you don’t agree with them, Richard.

If on one side there is Amnesty, HRW, World Bank, ICRC and other whilst on the other side obviously pro-zionist organisations such as NGO Monitor and CAMERA (which I’ve easily shown above are selectively quoting material by using other materials from the same organisations they quote), it is fairly obvious to most people which have the reputation for fairness and reliability.

At the end of the day, you can describe it in any way you like – as a politically correct paradigm, as lies, as exaggeration, as Islamophyllia, as anti-semitism. But by doing that, you not only accuse me but a whole body of international agencies and governments.

Okay, let me commit my naïveté to cyberprint: I actually believe in empirical evidence. I think that the “reputation” of an international organization for fairness and reliability is secondary to the evidence of its fairness and reliability, and that confronted with real, verifiable, evidence to the contrary, their reputation should suffer rather than override that evidence.

So here’s NGO Monitor with an extensive analysis of the skew of HRW in dealing with human rights violations in the Middle East. This is their abstract:

Report on HRW’s Activities in 2006: Political Bias Undermines Human Rights
NGO Monitor
June 26, 2007

NGO Monitor’s systematic and detailed analysis shows a significant increase in Human Rights Watch’s focus on Israel in 2006, following a decline in 2005, and returning to the disproportionate agenda and lack of credibility characteristic of the 2000-2004 period. HRW publications dealing with Israel used unreliable and unverifiable “eyewitness” accounts, rather than photographic, documentary, or other evidence. These core deficiencies were particularly evident in its reporting on the July-August conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Similarly, HRW continues to use the language of demonization with respect to Israel, compared to publications on other Middle East countries. The evidence in this report demonstrates that despite HRW’s recognition “that international standards of human rights apply to all people equally,” this powerful NGO continues to promote an anti-Israel political agenda.

So Joe, please read the report and tell me what you think.

16 Responses to Query to Joe et al.: HRW Middle East Report Analyzed for Bias by NGO Monitor

  1. Cynic says:

    ‘Notorious’ only in the sense that you don’t agree with them, Richard.

    So ipso facto Joe obviously agrees with the UN’s Human Rights Council.

    Strewth, so now we have JeffB, calzone and now Joe.

  2. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    and rl keeps feeding them and giving them a platform, even though i am sure he knows he won’t affect their thinking one bit.

    hitchens once said: we should judge reputation by evidence, not the other way around. yet the latter is exactly what the joes of the world do: they automatically take HRW at face value and what the pro-israel positions as “biased”. they don’t assess the evidence of both and make a judgment, they ass-u-me their conclusion.

  3. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    incidentally, these are all conformists. and nothing of substance ever came from conformists.

  4. Richard Landes says:

    first, i don’t prejudge outcomes. i’m willing to allow joe to surprise me with a cogent response. if he doesn’t, that’s also informative. fact is, right now, the joes and the jeffb’s of the west dominate the public sphere. we’ve got to find some way to wake them up, because if we fail, we can actually crash and burn.

    i’d rather be on a fool’s errand trying to reach people who, i believe, are largely of good faith and badly deluded by a host of factors, than to sit on my hands and watch things go down the tubes.

    so paint me the joker in the deck. i ain’t throwin in the towel. certainly not this early in the fight.

    i will go down with the civic ship, and i won’t put my hands up in surrender…

  5. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    go ahead, try. but we’re crashing and burning already.
    they have a preconceived position which is not amenable to knowledge and reason.

  6. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    faith, yes. good no. that’s the problem.

  7. scannerca says:

    “…people who, i believe, are largely of good faith and badly deluded by a host of factors….” (rl)

    This, I believe, is the absolute crux of the problems Richard discusses in his blog!

    We each try to clear the delusions on a one-to-one basis but is one-at-a-time sufficient?. Not to denigrate your fine work in this blog, Richard, but how to we reach the larger community that isn’t exposed to it (and others of like nature)?

  8. Eliyahu says:

    I agree with fp’s analysis of Joe’s logic, of how Joe thinks. Yes, Joe reasons in the wrong direction. Fp is probably right that you can’t do much with him. You can’t do much with somebody whose prejudices serve –no doubt– all sorts of psychological needs.

    On the other hand, there are many people of good will, whose minds are relatively open, who could be influenced either way. Now, I admire what Charles Johnson has done at LGF. His site and others, like AS, keep a debate going with the Joes and the jeffbs, and the calzones. It’s important that Joe & Co. know what we have to say, even if they are not going to change much, and yet our words may act as a restraint on their thinking and acts, whether you believe it or not, fp.
    And then, the open-minded who are still open to reason and fact need to be given something factual and reasonable to think about.

  9. Richard Landes says:

    posted for fp:

    the problem is that without an awareness and appreciation of knowledge and reason, of the rules of evidence, without the ability to think independently and critically, an increasing number of westerners cannot be reach except by the overwhelming propaganda. And the elites and the media — suffering from similar defects — exploit the gullibility.

    It is not possible to substitute for what should have instilled in kindergarten, school and university — intellectual development — on the fly while trying to explain the ME to them.

    Take a look at Charles Johnson’s “lizards” that comment at his site: their intellect is not better than the left’s, albeit in the opposite direction. it the public is not even capable to separate between the site and its readers, which is why the site is labeled negatively.

    in a conflict between an ignorant and unable to reason west and islamism with the same characteristics, the west does not stand a chance.

  10. Richard Landes says:

    response to scannerca

    “…people who, i believe, are largely of good faith and badly deluded by a host of factors….” (rl)

    This, I believe, is the absolute crux of the problems Richard discusses in his blog!

    We each try to clear the delusions on a one-to-one basis but is one-at-a-time sufficient?. Not to denigrate your fine work in this blog, Richard, but how to we reach the larger community that isn’t exposed to it (and others of like nature)?

    i operate on two assumptions.
    a) the audience will begin to come to us as things get worse and more people wake up. i think (hope) that’s in the next two to five years. it’s clear to me and most of the regulars at this blog, that things aren’t going to get better soon.
    b) they are more likely to wake up earlier and more intelligently (and humanely), if they can see a good course of action.

    so i see my job as, with others, to articulate a discourse that can get us to mobilize our (enormous) moral and intellectual resources to combatting the grotesque moral depravity of global jihad and palestinian liberation, rather than feeding the hungry beast.

    i look for terms for things i think we must pay attention to — demopaths, cognitive egocentrism, pcp, honor-shame — that permit us to talk about what we need to talk about in order for civil society to survive (and thrive).

    unlike fp (who is rightfully a pessimist given the historical record), i think we still have the huge advantage, and can shift the ground of this culture war to a civic arena if we only had the will and willingness to speak out.

    right now, we’re totally psyched by the muslims. but we’re starting to find a voice. what we really need is for the joes and calzones of the world to stop cheering the pusilanimous politically correct and start standing up for basic values.

  11. Michael B says:


  12. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    that’s what we need, but that’s what we don’t get.

    the awakening, to the extent that there is some, is too slow to make a difference.

    parts of europe are already lost, the us is on its way out, and education and culture — the main asset of the west — have been lost. without them the west does not stand a chance.

  13. Cynic says:

    Just for the record I want to include a link to a South African blog which to my way of thinking seems to portray a certain wide spread pathology as opposed to the innocence, naivety or just plain ignorance attributed to the joes we have come across recently.

    Kasrils Calls in the Cavalry

    Here we have a reply to the fisking, in the Cape Town “Cape Times” by Bennie Morris of an article by South African Minister of Intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils.
    (One must be subscribed to the Cape Times to read the article)

    The beleaguered Minister Kasrils, reeling from his intellectual trouncing by Israeli historian Benny Morris in the Cape Times, has enlisted the help of his ideological soul mate (if not his ideological role model) Dr Viginia Tilley. ……
    Tilley launches a scathing attack on Morris accusing him of using history, anti Arab racism, an Iranian nuclear energy scare, Islamophobia, 1967, Hitler, terror, science, and the Bible to confuse and cripple action (on Palestine). …..

    In which she declared:
    ‘Certainly we must understand this history but when history is used only to entangle debate we must be wary.’

    This is surely indicative that we have been projecting when we responded by expecting logical and rational thought; whereas we should have realised some time ago
    that those joes have been playing a zero-sum-game.

  14. fp\http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/ says:

    there seems to be an implicit assumption that the ability for logic and reason does not need to be developed in people. it used to be a function of the educational system to develop that ability. since it is not anymore most people don’t know how to do that, and they are not even aware that they don’t have it developed.

    if you survey the academics, particularly in the ME studies — Khalidi, Finklestein, Cole et. al. — they don’t even bother with logic and reason, they’re in “to win”, they’re politicians masquerading as academics.

    so you’ve got an education that fails to impart logic and reason and an faculty of activists rather than academics — what does the combination get you?

  15. Eliyahu says:

    this Tilley woman [Dr Tilley to be sure] is saying “Let’s not let facts stop us from getting to where we want to go. If the facts fit our case, our line, all well and good, but if not, then let the facts be damned.”

    Those attitudes are common too in the media and also in the world of the fake “NGOs”. Most NGOs have some lofty goal that they claim to ascribe to. But they are really agit-prop outfits. And rather than being “non-governmental,” most NGOs are funded by govts.
    If you want to see an NGO that goes far beyond the original lofty goal that gave it worldwide prestige, look at Amnesty International. It’s a fake. It constantly agitates on behalf of mass murderers in the name of human rights. So we now have a triad enlisted in a psychological warfare endeavor:
    1- MSM
    2- agitators in academic garb
    3- fake NGOs that are meant to agitate, not to defend lofty values

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