David Bernstein’s (Ongoing) Caricature of Human Rights Watch
David Bernstein is back with another attack on Human Rights Watch. This time, he’s up in arms that an HRW official had the temerity to criticize Israel in Saudi Arabia during a fundraising dinner:
A delegation from Human Rights Watch was recently in Saudi Arabia. To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi Law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals, subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? To protest the lack of religious freedom in the Saudi Kingdom? To issue a report on Saudi political prisoners?
No, no, no, and no. The delegation arrived to raise money from wealthy Saudis by highlighting HRW’s demonization of Israel. An HRW spokesperson, Sarah Leah Whitson, highlighted HRW’s battles with “pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations.” (Was Ms. Whitson required to wear a burkha, or are exceptions made for visiting anti-Israel “human rights” activists”? Driving a car, no doubt, was out of the question.)
Apparently, Ms. Whitson found no time to criticize Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record. But never fear, HRW “recently called on the Kingdom to do more to protect the human rights of domestic workers.”
Bernstein has previously described HRW as “almost cartoonishly biased against Israel.” The only thing cartoonish, however, is Bernstein’s blatant misrepresentation of Whitson’s work. Here is a list of her recent comments on Saudi Arabia, which take all of about 30 seconds to find on HRW’s website:
- Criticized Saudi Arabia’s failure to protect rights, including “giving women better access to work, education, health and justice, and easing restrictions on their travel.”
- Urged governments to criticize the lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.
- Criticized Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty for non-serious crimes.
- Demanded that Saudi Arabia release political prisoners.
- Criticized Saudi Arabia for imposing draconian discipline against a lawyer who attempted to represent a rape victim.
- Asked Saudi courts to stop trials for “insulting” Islam.
I could go on, but you get the point.