Human Rights Watch executive director skewered

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The New York Sun publishes an editorial today that should forever lay to rest the question of the credibility of Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. By juxtaposing some of Roth's statements when challenged with the underlying facts, including his own group's offocial publications, he is hanged with rope he and his group provided. The entire piece needs to be read, especially by Mr. Bill O'Reilly, who allowed Roth a lot of spinning while he was in the alleged "no spin zone." In my judgment, BOR has a lot to answer for, and must address this challenge.

One small example of the Sun's devastating take—down:

Mr. Roth goes on to deny a "rush to judgment" in Qana. But only hours after the attack, Mr. Roth and Human Rights Watch issued a press release headlined "Israel Responsible for Qana Attack, Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime." The press release claimed the Israeli attack killed "at least 54 civilians," a death toll that subsequently was revised downward to 28. Mr. Roth denies that he rushed to judgment, but he found Israel guilty of a war crime in a press release issued only hours after the attack.

In the same issue of th New York Sun, Alan Dershowitz does similar duty on Roth and HRW:

When it comes to Israel and its enemies, Human Rights Watch cooks the books about facts, cheats on interviews, and releases predetermined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true. Consider the following highly publicized "conclusion" reached by Human Rights Watch about the recent war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel: "Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack." No cases! Anyone who watched even a smattering of TV during the war saw with their own eyes direct evidence of rockets being launched from civilian areas. But not Human Rights Watch. How could an organization, which claims to be objective, have been so demonstrably wrong about so central a point in so important a war? Could it have been an honest mistake? I don't think so. Human Rights Watch not only failed to interview witnesses who had contrary evidence, it ignored credible news sources

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   8 23 06

Update: 8 23 06 10:00 AM PDT

More on Roth from David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy:

This article by Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch is also revealing. Roth claims that international humanitarian law required Israel to "treat[] Lebanese civilians as human beings whose lives are as valuable as Israelis'." Can you imagine any government doing this? In other words, a terrorist group in Gaza or Lebanon is attacking Israeli civilian targets. According to Roth's logic, Israel can only retaliate if it's retaliation will cost no more civilian lives in Gaza or Lebanon than would be caused by the terrorists if Israel didn't try to stop them. This is a formula that would paralyze not only Israel, but the U.S., Russian, India, and any other country that feels the need to pursue a military response to terrorism.

The New York Sun publishes an editorial today that should forever lay to rest the question of the credibility of Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. By juxtaposing some of Roth's statements when challenged with the underlying facts, including his own group's offocial publications, he is hanged with rope he and his group provided. The entire piece needs to be read, especially by Mr. Bill O'Reilly, who allowed Roth a lot of spinning while he was in the alleged "no spin zone." In my judgment, BOR has a lot to answer for, and must address this challenge.

One small example of the Sun's devastating take—down:

Mr. Roth goes on to deny a "rush to judgment" in Qana. But only hours after the attack, Mr. Roth and Human Rights Watch issued a press release headlined "Israel Responsible for Qana Attack, Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime." The press release claimed the Israeli attack killed "at least 54 civilians," a death toll that subsequently was revised downward to 28. Mr. Roth denies that he rushed to judgment, but he found Israel guilty of a war crime in a press release issued only hours after the attack.

In the same issue of th New York Sun, Alan Dershowitz does similar duty on Roth and HRW:

When it comes to Israel and its enemies, Human Rights Watch cooks the books about facts, cheats on interviews, and releases predetermined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true. Consider the following highly publicized "conclusion" reached by Human Rights Watch about the recent war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel: "Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack." No cases! Anyone who watched even a smattering of TV during the war saw with their own eyes direct evidence of rockets being launched from civilian areas. But not Human Rights Watch. How could an organization, which claims to be objective, have been so demonstrably wrong about so central a point in so important a war? Could it have been an honest mistake? I don't think so. Human Rights Watch not only failed to interview witnesses who had contrary evidence, it ignored credible news sources

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   8 23 06

Update: 8 23 06 10:00 AM PDT

More on Roth from David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy:

This article by Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch is also revealing. Roth claims that international humanitarian law required Israel to "treat[] Lebanese civilians as human beings whose lives are as valuable as Israelis'." Can you imagine any government doing this? In other words, a terrorist group in Gaza or Lebanon is attacking Israeli civilian targets. According to Roth's logic, Israel can only retaliate if it's retaliation will cost no more civilian lives in Gaza or Lebanon than would be caused by the terrorists if Israel didn't try to stop them. This is a formula that would paralyze not only Israel, but the U.S., Russian, India, and any other country that feels the need to pursue a military response to terrorism.