QuoteOriginally posted by: brontosaurusI don't know about your neutral opinion on the Saudi issue Fermion, if the latest research on smoking and health was found out to have been sponsored by Philip Morris, and also turned out to favor their needs, a reasonable person would think twice. Even if the organization doing the research had a promising sounding name, like "heart health". Human Rights Watch's reputation rests on their being able to provide neutral analysis. Here are two pieces that provide evidence their neutrality in this region is a joke.NGO Monitor Report on comparing condemnations of Israel vs other Middle East countries by Human Rights WatchA piece of pseudo-science. Selective methods on selective data by an organization with an agenda. The abstract alone betrays their intentions clearly.Promoted by an oprganization that laughingly claims to be "Promoting Critical Debate and Accountability of Human Rights NGOs in the Arab Israeli Conflict" when even a cursory glance at their web-site shows that they exist only to smear critics of Israel.QuoteFundraising Corruption at Human Rights WatchQuoteThis is a serious allegation, and one I found difficult to believe, because Human Rights Watch has always been moderately careful about the optics of its fundraising efforts. The group's credibility, of course, rests on its neutrality; playing traditional enemies off each other as a way to collect money from one (or both) sides in a conflict seems beyond the pale. (Let's put aside for now the queasy-making image of a human rights organization venturing into one of the world's most anti-democratic societies to criticize one of the Middle East's most democratic states.)Another problem here, of course, is that Sarah Leah Whitson, if the allegation against her is to be believed, trafficked in a toxic stereotype about Jews in a country that bans most Jews from even crossing its borders, and whose religious leadership often propogates the crudest expressions of anti-Semitism. The term pro-Israel lobby, of course, means something very different on the Arabian peninsula than it does here. Here, even to critics of AIPAC, it means a well-funded, well-oiled political machine designed to protect Israel's interests in Congress. In much of the Arab world, "pro-Israel pressure group" suggests a global conspiracy by Jews to dominate the world politically, culturally and economically.I'm not one of the people who believes that Human Rights Watch is reflexively anti-Israel, and I think the group has done admirable work exposing Israel's human rights violations (and admirable work, of course, exposing human rights violations across the Middle East). But this allegation, if proven true, would cast serious doubt on whether Human Rights Watch's Middle East division could ever fairly judge Israel again.I asked Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, if Bernstein's allegation was true. He forwarded me the following letter, from Sarah Leah Whitson, that was sent to the Wall Street Journal: (the rest of the conversation is on his blog at the link provided)A smear based on the hypothesis that HRW's continual battle with Israeli attempts to discredit it and distract world attention from HRW reports somehow discredits it! Laughable. I also note that you fail to include Whitson's rebuttal.Try again! Next time see if you can find evidence instead of propaganda.