Sunday, July 26, 2009

Defending human rights

In case you missed it, there's been an interesting controversy recently regarding Human Rights Watch, one of the foremost NGOs supposedly protecting human rights worldwide.

Its director, Ken Roth, confirmed that HRW officials have sought to raise funds in Saudi Arabia, essentially by criticizing Israel's human rights record. The spokesman for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared this initiative to a women's rights group asking the Taliban for donations.

As Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic points out here, HRW put itself on shaky ground by fundraising in a country that it often targets for human rights failures. More generally, I assume HRW's ability to raise funds in the United States will suffer if stories like this continue.

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