By Michael Corcoran and Stephen Maher
Originally published in The Electronic Intifada, 23 July 2010
Supporters of Israel often accuse Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the most prominent human rights organizations in the world, of having an anti-Israel bias or even being anti-Semitic. For instance, a recent lengthy article in The New Republicaccused the group of paying "disproportionate attention to Israeli misdeeds." Similarly, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz has said that HRW exhibits a "willful blindness when it comes to Israel, and its enemies have completely undermined the credibility of a once important human rights organization." Indeed, there is no shortage of other similar critiques of the organization by supporters of Israel.
Given such strong condemnations, one might have anticipated that HRW would have been especially vocal in its criticism of Israel's 31 May attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was attempting to deliver aid to Palestinians in Gaza and break Israel's three-year old siege of the territory.