HRW – A Major Driver of Antisemitism in 2021

Human Rights Watch’s number one best-seller this year: A blood libel against the Jewish state.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Antisemitism
Kenneth Roth Photo: YouTube Screenshot

A self-described “blockbuster” report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) “detailing Israeli authorities’ crimes of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians [sic]” was the NGO’s most-read story of 2021.

According to a tweet by the organisation’s CEO, Kenneth Roth, “Israel’s apartheid” garnered more interest than China’s genocidal treatment of its Uyghur Muslims, the abuse of women under the Taliban, massacres perpetrated in Ethiopia and extra-judicial executions of drug dealers in the Philippines.

For the uneducated or unaware, apartheid was a system of institutionalised racism inflicted on universally disenfranchised black South African citizens by a white-only South African government. None of its attributes are applicable to Israel, a democracy whose citizens – Jew, Arab, Black, White, Muslim, Christian – are all equal under the law, all have the vote, all are represented in the Knesset, all may live wherever they choose, all have equal access to education and employment and all enjoy the same freedoms and protections.

Indifferent to this truth, the HRW report that was devoured globally this year misused this catchy label to manipulate thinking on Israel. From one-time US president Jimmy Carter to the UN General Assembly and the European Union, this modern-day antisemitic blood libel is widely levelled against the Jewish state.

The HRW website brags that its reports are read by “millions of social media and online followers each day” (emphasis added) and that media coverage of its work immeasurably widens its reach.

As is easily shown, news organisations habitually parrot and promote reports like these, seldom challenging their bigotry.

If its claim is true (unlike its allegation of apartheid in Israel) then of all the major media anti-Israel agitators and fomenters of global antisemitism, Human Rights Watch is one of the guiltiest around right now.

Antisemitism chasers have for years charted and documented the sharp increase in acts of Jew-hatred worldwide fuelled by skewed and out-of-context media coverage of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

HRW’s Israel-obsessed and ludicrously lop-sided focus mirrors that habitually practiced by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and other self-proclaimed pro-Palestinian NGOs, among them Amnesty International, Christian Aid and, in Israel, Yesh Din and Hamoked.

Under Roth – an American lawyer and assimilated Jew (his parents fled the Holocaust and he was married in an Anglican church) – the organisation says it does “research work in the field in 100 some countries, uncovering the facts that create an undeniable record of human rights abuses” and pushing governments to change their laws, policies and practices.

Observers note that the actual effect of such vilifying and malevolent coverage is to animate international pressure for Israel to acquiesce to the creation of a Palestinian state on the ancestral land of the Jewish people.

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