Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Thursday, February 14, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • , ,
From The Volokh Conspiracy:
Human Rights Watch has just released a report on Israel’s recent “Pillar of Defense” operation to suppress rocket fire from Gaza. The report concludes that 18 airstrikes violated international law by not being properly targeted. I do not know if 18 is a little or a lot for an operation of this scale, as there an no good comparative data (though the report is released as Afghanistan says yet another NATO airstrike hit a house with innocent women and children inside.)

The report, by its description of its methods, appears to be a hit piece. Here is what the report said about the group’s investigative method (emphasis added):

Human Rights Watch sent detailed information about the cases to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on January 14, 2013, requesting further information. At a meeting on January 24 and in subsequent phone conversations, the military spokesperson’s office told Human Rights Watch that the military chief of staff had ordered a general (aluf) to conduct an “operational debriefing” (tahkir mivtza’i) concerning “dozens” of Israeli attacks during the conflict, including the cases Human Rights Watch investigated, which would be completed by late February.

Because previous Israeli “operational debriefings” involving attacks were not conducted by trained military police investigators or dedicated to investigating alleged laws-of-war violations, Human Rights Watch has decided to publish its findings rather than wait for their results.

In other words, HRW received high-level and consistent cooperation. A meeting between HRW and the IDF took place on Jan 24 (just 10 days after HRW asked for further information), and were told that the IDF would have a more detailed response by late February after its own investigations were over. One month is not a long time to wait, certainly not covering an incident that occurred months ago.

It is completely baffling why HRW would rush to publish their report a mere two weeks before they could hear in full Israel’s response to their allegations. Furthermore, HRW’s explanation why they chose not to wait lacks any coherence. What is so special about designated military police as opposed to other investigators? And even if the IDF investigations were not conducted by trained military police, it is unquestionable that the IDF investigators would have access to sources HRW does not. One would expect that an organization whose influence is completely based on their reputation for objectivity and thoroughness would wish to have all the facts before rushing to publish.

Well-meaning observers are often puzzled why Israel sometimes does not cooperate with the multitudinous foreign investigations into its military operations. The minimal lack of procedural fairness investigations such as HRW’s is surely one reason for their reluctance.
NGO Monitor went into more detail:
HRW possesses neither the military expertise nor the appropriate fact-finding methodology to make these assessments and conduct proper investigations. Such judgments require knowledge of the military intelligence possessed by Israeli commanders at the time of the strikes, and information on intent of the officers. In contrast, HRW’s “evidence” consists solely of its inability to identify “indication[s] of a legitimate military target at the site at the time of the attack” and Israel’s refusal to explain its operational decisions to the NGO.

HRW’s press release is its seventh document relating to the November 2012 fighting in Gaza and Southern Israel. The disproportionate obsession and political agenda are further seen by HRW’s decision to conduct “field investigations” on that particular conflict, at a time when the UN estimated that over 10,000 people were killed in the Syrian civil war in the month of January 2013 alone.

HRW’s statement also denounced Israeli investigations, claiming that they “were not conducted by trained military police investigators or dedicated to investigating alleged laws-of-war violations.” Therefore, HRW did not wait for a response from the IDF, dealing with HRW’s cases and other attacks, which is anticipated “by late February.”

In fact, Israeli investigations meet international standards, as noted by Judge Mary McGowan Davis (empanelled by the Human Rights Council to lead the follow-up committee to the Goldstone Report), Judge Richard Goldstone, and the Turkel Committee. The real reason HRW does not want to wait for the IDF report is because it will demonstrate that HRW’s claims are baseless, as happened with Israeli responses to the 2009 Gaza conflict and the 2006 Lebanon War.
I visited NGO Monitor in Jerusalem on Thursday, and asked them about the supposed expertise of the "field investigators" HRW sends into Gaza. They are not completely transparent on who writes and contributes to many of their reports, but apparently they rely on people who live in Gaza to fill out much of the information in these reports - and they, in turn, rely on biased sources like PCHR and the Gaza Health Ministry to get the "facts" about particular incidents to them.

One of their Gaza researchers, Fares Akram, also has written for the New York Times - even about HRW itself, without disclosing his affiliation in the article!

This incestuous relationship between native Gazan "investigators," news organization stringers and reporters, and biased "human rights" organizations and NGOs is sorely unreported.

One other fact that NGO Monitor noted to me that is terrifically important: HRW does not have a published methodology on how they conduct these "field investigations." Without a rigorous and known methodology, bias isn't only possible - it is inevitable. Facts that conform to the "researcher"'s preconceived notions will naturally get highlighted and anything that contradicts it will be silently ignored. This is natural, after all, the news media do this all the time. But an organization like HRW must adhere to the higher standard it demands from others. Its standards must be far greater than that of journalists. In this case, there was no "deadline" that forced HRW to release this report before waiting for the official investigation by Israel. They simply decided to ignore any response before the fact.

HRW claims that Israel's investigations do not reach some arbitrary level of professionalism and objectivity that they made up. Yet if HRW would investigate itself with the same standards, it would come out far, far worse. Its bias has been exposed over and over again, here as well as elsewhere. HRW never admits it was wrong,  and when caught doing something unethical itself.

This is not the way an organization dedicated to the truth should act. But  it is exactly how a biased organization with an agenda would act.



EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive