NGO Monitor: HRW Report More Israel Bashing

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor said the Human Rights Watch 2009 annual report is a rehashing of the usual anti-Israel bashing that has dominated its past reports.

HRW published more condemnations of Israel than the combined total for Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya, according to the NGO Monitor.

In the 2009 World Report, HRW's executive director, Kenneth Roth, compared Israeli "war crimes," which he termed "abusive," to goings on in Dafur, Kenya and Guinea.

The report cites the oft-repeated but unsubstantiated allegations that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians surrendering with white flags, targeted the population from unmanned drones and used white phosphorus in the three-week military incursion into the Gaza Strip a little over a year ago.

The report also continues HRW's promotion of the U.N.-commissioned Goldstone Report, issued in September 2009, which concluded that "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly against humanity," during Operation Cast Lead.

The 575-page report, based on a U.N. "fact-finding mission" led by retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone, a former member of HRW, included many unproven accusations, which Israel rejected as distortions and outright falsehoods.

Gerald Steinberg, president of the NGO Monitor, said HRW is turning up its anti-Israel rhetoric even as its credibility as a human rights organization is being questioned.

Steinberg said the group's diminishing credibility would continue as long as its Israel-bashing agenda remains one of its top priorities.

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