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Joe Stork Responds

You have to give Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch little bit of credit for showing his face again, given what was revealed about him last week in Ma’ariv. But his response to the revelations of his shocking support for the terrorist assaults on the Israeli athletes in Munich is deceptive and frivolous. He admits nothing and dismisses his own damning writings as having exceeded an imaginary statute of limitations: “The quotes [Ma’ariv] attributes to me are more than 30 years old. Most of them I do not recognize.” Note he does not deny having said them.

Stork’s main charge is that his detractors are “shooting the messenger.” His full letter is here. (H/t Martin Solomon.) Joe Stork, alas, is not merely a messenger for Human Rights Watch. He is the group’s second-highest-ranking Middle East official. He oversaw every aspect of its report claiming Israeli abuses during the Gaza incursion, especially the hawking of its incendiary conclusions on every television and radio broadcast that would have him. Stork relishes saying that he is a martyr to the cause of truth-telling about Israel. But questioning his credibility and professionalism has nothing to do with messenger-shooting and everything to do with the substance of Stork’s work.

The past few weeks have been bad ones for Human Rights Watch, and deservedly so. The group is undergoing a Wizard of Oz moment as the curtain is pulled back to reveal the tawdry reality behind all the glossy reports, press conferences, and professions of great concern for the world’s downtrodden. Behind this facade is little more than a small and distinctly smelly group of political fanatics whose careers have shared one big thing in common: an intense animosity toward Israel.



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