H/T: Donny Kligman
HRW: Iran’s statements not incitement to genocide
Human Right Watch leader refuses to label calls to erase Israel; compares mullah’s remarks to those of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
WASHINGTON – The head of New York-based Human Rights Watch refused to label as genocidal Iranian calls to obliterate the Jewish state and compared Iran’s mullah leadership to the Shas party.
The Wall Street Journal’s David Feith, as assistant editorial features editor with the paper, obtained internal HRW emails and published last week a report, headlined “Dancing around genocide,” about alleged HRW bias against Israel and an internecine conflict within HRW’s top leadership about the group’s head, Kenneth Roth, and his failure to take Iran’s calls to destroy Israel seriously.
The Journal reported that Sid Sheinberg, HRW’s vice chairman, wrote in an email, “Sitting still while Iran claims a ‘justification to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel’ is…a position unworthy of our great organization.”
According to the newspaper, Roth wrote in one email, “Many of [Iran’s] statements are certainly reprehensible, but they are not incitement to genocide. No one has acted on them.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that “Israel must be wiped off the map,” while former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has openly contemplated firing a nuclear missile at Tel Aviv.
Roth told the Journal that, although a committee may look into Iran’s anti-Israel rhetoric, he believes the country is not inciting genocide against the Jewish state. Instead, he argued, the push to label Tehran’s calls for Israel’s destruction as genocidal is “part of an effort to beat the war drums against Iran.”
In an email to The Jerusalem Post on Saturday, Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, the head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, wrote, “This is a blatant example of Roth’s indifference to genocidal threats and human rights abuses when these target Israel.”
“Roth, who has controlled Human Rights Watch since 1996, has consistently demonstrated a obsession with attacking the Jewish state, and the people he selected to lead HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division are also infected with this deep bias,” Steinberg wrote.
“While Gaddafi was ranting against the Zionists, HRW embraced the regime as ‘human rights reformers.’ HRW’s studied silence in the face of Iran’s genocidal threats further demonstrates this organization’s moral bankruptcy.”
Steinberg added that “George Soros, who now provides HRW with most of its budget after many donors withdrew support, shares responsibility for enabling such immoral behavior under the facade of human rights.”