May 23, 2019

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The biggest Human Rights Watch lie yet?

From CBS News:

Israel has given a Human Rights Watch director two weeks to leave the country, accusing him of promoting a boycott, in a move the rights group said sought to muzzle criticism. The interior ministry said Tuesday it had terminated the residency permit of HRW’s Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir, a U.S. citizen, over accusations that he supported a boycott of Israel.

“Following the recommendations of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, containing information that Shakir has been a BDS activist for years supporting the boycott of Israel in an active way, the ministry has decided to terminate (his) residence permit,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

“This is not about Shakir, but rather about muzzling Human Rights Watch and shutting down criticism of Israel’s rights record,” HRW said in a statement.

Neither Human Rights Watch nor its representative, Shakir, promotes boycotts of Israel.

The media is quick to note that HRW has written critical reports of Israel – a fact meant to support the idea that Israel is muzzling critics.

Yet the articles don’t bother to check the simple fact that Shakir indeed has explicitly promoted boycotts of Israel. 

And HRW is knowingly lying.

These tweets were before Shakir re-joined HRW (he had worked there in 2013 and then returned in October 2016.) But they show that he is an enthusiastic BDS supporter. Much more from an article by Petra Marquardt-Bigman here.

As far as HRW’s assertion that it doesn’t promote BDS itself, what about this article in Haaretz by Kathleen Peratis,  co-chair of the Middle East North Africa Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch and an emerita member of its board of trustees?

This is a full throated and explicit call for support for BDS and giving advice to the movement on tactics.

HRW lies quite a bit. This may be the biggest lie yet.

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