Why HRW stopped short of accusing Israel of war crimes?

At the question that why HRW stopped short of accusing Israel of war crimes while it accused Hezbollah of war crimes, when both are accused of targeting civilians, Mr. Roth gave this quite silly answer:

“War crimes are attributed to individuals. The Israeli army high commanders were not involved in issuing the orders for the bombings that killed Lebanese civilians, only army personnel and individuals at low command positions were. And the orders for bombing Israeli civilians were issued by the Hezbollah highest military authorities.”

Kenneth Roth, Human Right’s Watch executive director, was speaking on Radio Canada when he uttered these golden words of wisdom (thanks Sophia).

During July 06 Israeli-Lebanese war, according to HRW’s reports, civilian populations on both sides were targetted. More than 1000 Lebanese civilians died, a third of them children. While on the Israeli side there were 43 civilian casualties among 163 deaths.

NO, Hezbollah did NOT embed its fighters among the civilian population. As confirmed by HRW report on the matter .

So now, do you understand why there was an uproar against HRW when they planned to hold their conference in Beirut? Even PM Sanyoura bashed them. Add to this the report that HRW had to be harsh with the Lebanese (Hezbollahis are Lebanese, right?!) in order to justify its harsh statements against Israel. All this in the name of objectivity!


One comment

  1. Hi Moussa,Thanks for linking. Actually I added to my post a link to the program and you can listen to the whole interview. The link wasn’t available when i posted first. I introduced only one correction to what Roth said. he didn’t say ‘disoriented’ but he clearly was suggesting it. because otherwise how to interpret the fact that he is putting the responsibility at low level in the Israeli army while, at the same time, stating that these bombings were not an error, and at the same time not charging, even lower level command of war crimes ? There are many contradictions in what HRW wrote and said. It is quite upsetting…

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