How Human Rights Watch Became a Pawn of Terrorists

Founded in 1978, Human Rights Watch (HRW) played an important role pressuring the Soviet Union and Eastern-bloc countries over their mistreatment of their citizens. But since the turn of the century, HRW has joined the ranks of the Israel-haters, not hesitating to accuse the Jewish state of any evil—so much so that HRW has been denounced by one of its founders. It has most recently become one of the most successful advocates for the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). David May and Jonathan Schanzer write:

Connections to the Palestinian organization al-Haq may [partially] explain HRW’s BDS contortions. The two groups have collaborated since at least 2007, when HRW urged Israel to allow al-Haq’s director Shawan Jabarin to travel abroad. According to a 1994 Israeli submission to the United Nations, Jabarin is a senior member of the terrorist group known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), [which] was notorious in the 1960s and 1970s for high-profile hijackings and attacks against Israelis. In October 2001, the group assassinated an Israeli minister. In 2014, the PFLP claimed responsibility for a gruesome attack on a Jerusalem synagogue that left six dead, including three American rabbis. . . .

Jabarin denies his PFLP connections while he continues to assail Israel through al-Haq, which has called for a European boycott on Jewish goods from the West Bank and a [complete] French financial boycott of Israel. Jabarin submitted several reports to the International Criminal Court as part of an anti-Israel lawfare campaign, and he was instrumental in the recent push in Ireland to criminalize business transactions with Jewish businesses in the West Bank.

Jabarin is not al-Haq’s only contribution to HRW. A former legal researcher with al-Haq, Anan Abu Shanab, is currently HRW’s West Bank researcher. There is also Charles Shamas, a co-founder of al-Haq, who has been an HRW adviser since at least 2002. . . . While HRW may do serious work on other issues, it is now an activist group aligned with a vitriolic movement.

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Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Human Rights Watch, Israel & Zionism, PFLP

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism