Goldblog and Beinart go another round. Peter defends HRW:
I recognize that Human Rights Watch may make mistakes. But it has done reports on Palestinian human rights abuses and lots of them (many more than on Israel) on human rights issues in the Arab world. Groups like AIPAC, which ONLY criticize Israel's neighbors and never criticize Israel, are in a particularly bad position to charge one-sidedness, it seems to me. And the argument that Human Rights Watch should not investigate Israel because it is a democracy doesn't make sense. I have no problem with them investigating torture in the United States--I'm glad they did. What's more, and this is so obvious that it's often ignored, Israel is NOT a democracy in the West Bank, which is where a lot of the abuses occur.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, while not perfect, are the most reputable human rights organizations in the world precisely because they piss off so many governments of all ideological stripes. They're in that business. People who try to discredit them in what they believe is Israel's interest do two very damaging things. First, they undermine the other work they do. If Human Rights Watch gives an exception to Israel, it will be much more likely to fold on say, Kashmir, another territory occupied by a democracy where there are big human rights problems. Second, as I said in the piece, if you convince Human Rights Watch to stop criticizing Israel you dramatically undermine Israeli human rights organizations that often do parallel work, which, of course, is exactly what Netanyahu wants. His vice-prime minister is on record, after all, as calling Peace Now a "virus."
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