James Forsyth

Human Rights Watch loses its moral compass

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There is something intensely depressing about the news that Human Right Watch is trying to raise money in Saudi Arabia out of its work on alleged Israeli human rights abuses. As Jeffrey Goldberg reports:

“...the director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division is attempting to raise funds from Saudis, including a member of the Shura Council (which oversees, on behalf of the Saudi monarchy, the imposition in the Kingdom of the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic law) in part by highlighting her organization's investigations of Israel, and its war with Israel's "supporters," who are liars and deceivers. It appears as if Human Rights Watch, in the pursuit of dollars, has compromised its integrity.”

Whatever Israel’s faults, there is something deeply wrong about a human rights organisation trying to raise money in a religiously oppressive monarchical state out of criticising a liberal democracy. It does make one wonder how people committed to human rights can get it so wrong.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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