You can’t make this stuff up.
The man at the center of the dispute, Shawan Jabarin, runs the human rights organization Al Haq in Ramallah on the occupied West Bank. In 1985 he belonged to a Birzeit University student group associated with the PFLP, indicted as a terror group, by 30 countries including the U.S., the European Union, and Canada. He was convicted of recruiting members for terrorist training outside Israel and served nine months of a 24-month jail sentence….
In its 2007 judgment, the [Israeli] Supreme Court found that alongside activity in [peaceful NGO] Al Haq, Jabarin was also a senior figure in the Popular Front terrorist organization: “This petitioner is apparently active as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In part of his activities, he is the director of a human rights organization, and in another part he is an activist in a terrorist organization.”
Ken Roth, head of HRW, first denied that Jabarin was ever a member of PFLP, then claimed that if he was, it was ancient history, and then added that he had no such affiliation since he joined Al Haq in 1987, though Roth refused to comment on the Israeli Supreme Court ruling to the contrary.
HRW, of course, rests much of its criticism of Israel on “international law,” or at least its dubious interpretation thereof and of the relevant facts. Let’s note, meanwhile, that terrorist bombings of the sort that the PFLP has been guilty of for decades are against international law.
Where does that leave HRW’s vaunted concern for international law?
H/T: NGO Monitor
UPDATE: I’m not sure how to make this clearer, but given the initial comments let me reiterate that the Israeli Supreme Court found in 2007 that Jabarin was, at that time, a senior official in the PFLP. The issue was whether Jabarin could receive an entry visa into Israel. It was denied. He appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. The Court found, based on intelligence information provided by the government, that he was in fact a terrorist, and barred him on that grounds. The Israeli Supreme Court, as is well-known, leans left on the Israeli political scene, and is not known for accepting government claims at face value (as when it ordered the government to change the routing of the security barrier, rejecting government claims that the barriers routing was all for security, and not at all political).
And Anne Hertzberg from NGO Monitor writes in to note that the Israeli Supreme Court reiterating its findings in ’08, ’09, and ’10, finding additional, “compelling” evidence.
FURTHER UPDATE: Dear Human Rights Watch: Given that you are being so very ecumenical about who is on your advisory board, I hereby submit my name for consideration. Or do I have to conspire to kill a few children first? Sincerely, David Bernstein, George Mason University School of Law.