Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HuffPost's ongoing blackout of credible rebuttals to the anti-Israel stories it publishes


Since 2006, HuffPost has published --- almost invariably without criticism or analysis --- one incendiary libel against Israel after another by Islamists, "human rights" groups, the United Nations and others. (A comprehensive archive of stories HuffPost has published that reflect its anti-Israel bias is located here.) These stories, which are usually positioned at or near the top of HuffPost's pages, almost invariably incite anti-Israel and anti-Semitic user comments, many of which are violations of its (supposed) comment policy. Contrary to its denials elsewhere and in the media, the only comments that have appeared on its news threads since March 2008 (and to some extent, since October 2007) are those that it reviewed, approved and decided to publish.

Yet when one source after another produced detailed rebuttals to these libels, HuffPost
, the self-proclaimed "Internet newspaper," has chosen either to not publish them --- or, in a few token cases, "buried" them in positions well away from the its readers' immediate focus. As Natan Sharanksy noted, these acts and omissions are themselves a form of anti-Semitism.

This article provides an ongoing accounting of such incidents at HuffPost.


Ongoing: Promoting the Goldstone Report, and U.N. actions against Israel --- while not featuring rebuttals

Since Richard Goldstone published his massive indictment of Israeli "war crimes" and "human rights abuses," HuffPost has posted repeated "news" stories and editorials supporting and defending him and his report. Here are but a few examples, all of which were prominently placed either on HuffPost's front page, or with top of the page "teasers" to sub-pages:

Goldstone's report has been discredited by numerous, credible sources. Here are some of the rebuttals that HuffPost readers would be unaware of if they obtained their "news" only there, because it failed (refused?) to feature them.

10/16/09: Col. Richard Kemp's testimony at the U.N., re Israel's actions to prevent civilian casualties, etc.

"The Goldstone Report: A Study in Duplicity," by CAMERA
An extremely detailed rebuttal to Goldstone's core allegations, and exposure of the biases and double-standards he employed.

9/24/09: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's U.N. address
On 9/23/09, Netanyahu delivered a blockbuster
rebuttal at the U.N. to the most bloodthirsty libels that have been leveled against Israel in recent years. Libyan madman & terrorist Moammar Gaddafi also delivered a speech (actually a 95 minute rant) at the U.N. the same day. Yet as is documented in this detailed analysis, although HuffPost gave top-line coverage Gaddafi's rant, and even asked whether he raised legitimate points --- it featured no coverage of Netanyahu's speech. Zero. This is a continuation of HuffPost's bias against Israel in general, and Netanyahu in particular (more here, here, here).

Part 2 is here, part 3 here, part 4 here. (H/T Powerline)

"Goldstone Report Endorses Unreliable Witnesses," by CAMERA
Further analysis of Goldstone's shoddy, biased approach to gleaning "testimony" from less-than-credible witnesses.


Ongoing: Promoting Human Rights Watch's condemnations of Israel --- while not featuring any stories on the illegitimacy of HRW's accusations and its anti-Israel bias... even one from HRW's founder

As in other instances, HuffPost has routinely featured whatever allegations HRW levels against Israel, without critical analysis. Typically HuffPost gives these stories high prominence, often placing them on its front page. Examples:

Israeli Soldiers Killed Unarmed Palestinians Carrying White Flags: Human Rights Watch

Israel: White Phosphorus Use Evidence of War Crimes (VIDEO)

Human Rights Watch: Israel, Hamas Violating International Law

Yet when credible rebuttals became available that exposed HRW's anti-Israel bias and double-standards --- and even the fact that it has accepted funding from Saudi Arabia --- these stories have either been downplayed, or have not appeared on HuffPost. Examples:

"Rights Watchdog, Lost in the Mideast," by Richard Bernstein, founder of HRW
In this stunning
New York Times editorial, Bernstein publicly condemns HRW for its double standards and anti-Israel bias. Excerpt:
As the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group’s critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state. [...]

When I stepped aside in 1998, Human Rights Watch was active in 70 countries, most of them closed societies. Now the organization, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.

9/8/09: "Experts or Ideologues? (HRW's) Sarah Leah Whitson," by NGO Monitor
A devastating expose' on the anti-Israel bias of HRW's Middle East Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. Excerpt:
In May 2009, Whitson led a trip to seek support in Saudi Arabia, where she emphasized HRW’s “shortage of funds because of the global financial crisis and the work on Israel and Gaza, which depleted HRW’s budget for the region.” She highlighted HRW’s stance of standing up to “pro-Israel pressure groups,” which, she declared, “strongly resisted the report and tried to discredit it.” The irony of using HRW’s highly biased position on Israel to elicit support from those closest to the repressive Saudi regime did not go unnoticed (Bernstein June 16, 2009).
Ed. Perhaps it should not be too surprising that Sarah Leah Whitson is also an official HuffPost blogger.

7/15/09: "Human Rights Watch Goes to Saudi Arabia - Seeking Saudi Money to Counterbalance 'Pro-Israel Pressure Groups'," by David Bernstein, The Wall St. Journal
The precursor of the
NGO Monitor report (above). Excerpt:
A delegation from Human Rights Watch was recently in Saudi Arabia. To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi Law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals, subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? To protest the lack of religious freedom in the Saudi Kingdom? To issue a report on Saudi political prisoners?

No, no, no, and no. The delegation arrived to raise money from wealthy Saudis by highlighting HRW's demonization of Israel. An HRW spokesperson, Sarah Leah Whitson, highlighted HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations." [...]

The point of my post, though, is not that HRW is pro-Saudi, but that it is maniacally anti-Israel. The most recent manifestation is that its officers see nothing unseemly about raising funds among the elite of one of the most totalitarian nations on earth, with a pitch about how the money is needed to fight "pro-Israel forces," without the felt need to discuss any of the Saudis' manifold human rights violations...

2/19/09: "Joe Stork, Senior Human Rights Watch Staffer, Supported Violence against Jews and Israel's Destruction," by Alex Safian, CAMERA
Another devastating expose' on the anti-Israel bias espoused by Stork, HRW's Deputy Director in the Middle East, including his statements that essentially mirror those of radical Islamist and terrorist groups.


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